All the Women in My Family Sing
February 2, 2018
Music: Salvador Santana
All the Women in My Family Sing is now in bookstores and available online for purchase! We will have readings with different authors around California, New York and Boston. Please look at our events page and join us.
Here is an interview with me about the creation of this powerful book:
1. What inspired you to create this anthology?
I dreamed the title, All the Women in My Family Sing, years ago, thinking of the diverse ethnicities in my own family – women of Black, Irish, Japanese, Mexican, and Spanish descent--and thought it perfect for the anthology. I read about the low statistics of women of color publishing books in the industry and wanted to promote change. I partnered with my friend Christine Bronstein, founder of Nothing But The Truth Publishing, and we sent out a call for essays by women of color. I led the editorial and creative aspects with an assistant, found the artwork by Favianna Rodriguez, which expressed the powerful theme, and worked for three years to complete the project. The essays display the intersectionalities in the stories of all the women.
2. What is one of the most memorable challenges you have experienced as a woman of color in the 21st century?
Growing up biracial, I felt society pointing its finger at me as a technique to foment separation. I grew up during the civil rights era when Black and brown people had to march, hold sit ins, and hire legal representation to enjoy the promises of the American Constitution. The challenge for me has been to witness the institutional racism still being forced on people today. I have a constant awareness of the ways government and society have not evolved spiritually or morally to accept and respect all people, especially Native Americans on whose land we live.
3. What is your perception of women’s roles in today's social justice movement?
When I was studying for my Masters in Philosophy and Religion, I studied Matriarchal Societies around the world, the histories of the Feminist Movements and the concept of becoming Conscious Allies in the world. Women have and can lead with intelligence and justice. The early anthologies of Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa gave context to personal stories of women who have the power to change systems of oppression. Women have been fighting to overcome the mythology of inferiority and the abuses of our bodies and the alienation of racism for centuries. Today’s social justice movement is a powerful platform for the voices of all women, as evidenced by the Women’s Marches of 2017 and 2018. I am exhilarated and inspired by the number of women running for public office.
4. What do you most hope readers will take away from this book?
My sincere desire is that everyone who reads the essays will open their hearts to examine how they have accepted the “norms” of society that have advantaged some and disadvantaged and marginalized others. I want readers to expand their knowledge of cultures different from theirs and to respond with respect and awe. I want dialogue across differences and for circles of listening to be created without fear. I want meaningful alliances between communities to eliminate forms of oppression. The anti-apartheid movement in South Africa can teach us how to do this. The leadership of President Mandela, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee led by Archbishop Tutu were able to create healing in that very broken country. Women can be that change in America.
Please read the biographies of the phenomenal women in the anthology: