In an attempt to map some of the gendered and racialized aspects of Afro-Boricua diasporic experiences in the United States, Yomaira Figueroa argues that “for Afro-Latinas coming of age in homelands, islands, and in the diaspora […] the kitchen table is a place of politics, poetics, kinship, and sustenance. Likewise, we know that this hallowed quotidian space is also a site of violence, revelation, and revolt.”
Figueroa invites us to acknowledge and combat the impacts of anti-Black racism that exist within our spaces. “This means that we must interrogate and contest the living legacies of mestizaje and its failure to eradicate racial interpersonal and structural oppression and inequality. This also means actively subverting the forms of anti-Blackness endemic to Latinx and Latin American communities.” (Page 4)
Pick ONE of these assignment options and answer in the comment section below.
Using the quote above, discuss how the story “Your Lips” (pages 6-9) illustrates colorism and Anti-Blackness within Boricua and Latinx families.
Write a short poem or anecdote in which you incorporate and reflect on the ideas of the following quote:
“What hit you then was the blackness. Everyone in the room was soft and honey and even las trigueñas eran claras. But you were small and brusk and brown and black and all curls and no beauty. You knew it then. At four or five. Your papi was the black one. He’s the one that made you black and you did not belong to the table. Even though you were all from the same island. The same saltwaters. The same hard rivers. The same blood. It was then that the anger came.” (Page 8)