Young Women United’s Favorite Works by Women Of Color

Young Women United’s Favorite Works by Women Of Color

 

The New Jim Crow**

Michelle Alexander

“As the United States celebrates the nation’s “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status — much like their grandparents before them.”

 

Island Beneath The Sea**

Isabele Allende

“Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarité — known as Tété — is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tété finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in the voodoo loas she discovers through her fellow slaves.”

 

La Frontera**

Gloria Anzaldúa

“Anzaldua, a Chicana native of Texas, explores in prose and poetry the murky, precarious existence of those living on the frontier between cultures and languages. Writing in a lyrical mixture of Spanish and English that is her unique heritage, she meditates on the condition of Chicanos in Anglo culture, women in Hispanic culture, and lesbians in the straight world. Her essays and poems range over broad territory, moving from the plight of undocumented migrant workers to memories of her grandmother, from Aztec religion to the agony of writing. Anzaldua is a rebellious and willful talent who recognizes that life on the border, “life in the shadows,” is vital territory for both literature and civilization. Venting her anger on all oppressors of people who are culturally or sexually different, the author has produced a powerful document that belongs in all collections with emphasis on Hispanic American or feminist issues.”

 

This Bridge Called My Back**

Gloria Anzaldua & Cherri Moraga

“This groundbreaking collection reflects an uncompromised definition of feminism by women of color. 65,000 copies in print.”

 

500 Years of Chicano History

Elizabeth Martinez (editor)

 

The Mixquiahuala Letters**

Ana Castillo

“Focusing on the relationship between two fiercely independent women–Teresa, a writer, and Alicia, an artist–this epistolary novel was written as a tribute to Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch and examines Latina forms of love, gender conflict, and female friendship.”

 

So Far From God**

Ana Castillo

“Sofia and her fated daughters, Fe, Esperanza, Caridad, and la Loca, endure hardship and enjoy love in the sleepy New Mexico hamlet of Tome, a town teeming with marvels where the comic and the horrific, the real and the supernatural, reside.”

 

salt.**

Nayyirah Waheed

“Salt is a journey through warmth and sharpness. This collection of poetry explores the realities of multiple identities, language, diasporic life & pain, the self, community, healing, celebration, and love.”

 

Bone**

Yrsa Daley-Ward

“Bone. Visceral. Close to. Stark.”

 

Seed To Harvest**

Octavia Butler

“In ancient Africa, a female demigod of nurture and fertility mates with a powerful, destructive male entity. Together they birth a race of madmen, visionaries, and psychics who cling to civilization’s margins and back alleys for millenia, coming together in a telepathic Pattern just as Earth is consumed by a cosmic invasion. Now these new beings–no longer mearly human–will battle to rule the transfigured world.”

 

My Princess Boy**

Cheryl Kilodavis

“My Princess Boy opens a dialogue about embracing uniqueness, and teaches you and others how to accept young boys who might cross traditional gender line clothing expectations. The book ends with the understanding that ‘my’ Princess Boy is really ‘our’ Princess Boy, and as a community, we can accept and support youth for whoever they are and however they wish to look.”

 

In The Time Of The Butterflies**

Julia Alvarez

“Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.”

 

La Mucama de Ominculé*

Rita Indiana

“This overwhelming novel, which enshrines Rita Indiana as narrator, contains many layers and fascinating twists. The story begins in the apartment of saint and advisor to the Dominican President, Esther Escudero, better known as Omicunlé. His young maid, Alcide Figueroa, whom Esther helped leave a life of prostitution, is about to become plagued by the past, present and future. Including deities that inhabit the Caribbean Sea, political interests, Goya’s prints, gender reassignment and numerous plot twists, few other works of fiction speak  of contemporary art as precisely as La mucama de omicunlé.”

 

The Salt Roads**

Nalo Hopkinson

“Jeanne Duval, the ginger-colored entertainer, struggles with her lover poet Charles Baudelaire…Mer, plantation slave and doctor, both hungers for and dreads liberation…and Thais, a dark-skinned beauty from Alexandria, is impelled to seek a glorious revelation-as Ezili, a being born of hope, unites them all. Interweaving acts of brutality with passionate unions of spirit and flesh, this is a narrative that shocks, entertains, and dazzles-from an award-winning writer who dares to redefine the art of storytelling.”

 

I, Tituba, Black Witch Of Salem**

Maryse Condé

“At the age of seven, Tituba watched as her mother was hanged for daring to wound a plantation owner who tried to rape her. She was raised from then on by Mama Yaya, a gifted woman who shared with her the secrets of healing and magic. But it was Tituba’s love of the slave John Indian that led her from safety into slavery, and the bitter, vengeful religion practiced by the good citizens of Salem, Massachusetts. Though protected by the spirits, Tituba could not escape the lies and accusations of that hysterical time.”

 

Geographies of Home**

Loida Maritza Pérez

“After leaving the college she’d attended to escape her religiously conservative parents, Iliana, a first-generation Dominican-American woman, returns home to Brooklyn to find that her family is falling apart: one sister is careening toward mental collapse, another sister is living in a decrepit building with her abusive husband and three children, and a third sister has simply disappeared. In this dislocating urban environment Iliana reluctantly confronts the anger and desperation that seem to seep through every crack of her family’s small house, and experiences all the contradictions, superstitions, joys, and pains that come from a life caught between two cultures.”

 

Brown Girl in the Ring**

Nalo Hopkinson

“The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways-farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother.”

 

*Summary from Amazon

**Summary from Goodreads.com