For brown girls with sharp edges and tender hearts A love letter to women of color

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez, 1985-

Book - 2021

"For generations, women of color have had to push against powerful forces of sexism, racism, and classism in this country, and too often, they have felt that they had to face these challenges alone. Through her writing, her activism, and through founding Latina Rebels, Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez fought to create community to help women fight together. Now her new book For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts offers wisdom and a liberating path forward for all fellow Brown girls. Her new book addresses a range of issues: How can Brown girls survive, and thrive, in spaces that were never meant for us? How do we feel pride when we're forced to code-switch? How can we deal with our own imposter syndrome? How do we free ...ourselves from internalized racism, when it comes to colorism within our communities? And what does it mean to decolonize our worldview? Chapter by chapter, Mojica Rodríguez not only defines these terms, she crafts powerful new ways to address these challenges. She defies "universal" white narratives by telling her own stories. She gives readers access to the knowledge that changed her life and powered her activism. Too often Brown girls have had to strive and climb and force themselves into predominantly white spaces that were never built for them. Here Mojica Rodríguez crafts a love letter and a manifesto to Brown girls, guiding them toward women who have innovated a sense of pride and sisterhood when the dominant community has failed them. In the end, this timely and urgent book energizes a movement with essential tools to help women speak up and make change. May it spark a fire within you"--

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  • Author's Note
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Voluntourism
  • Chapter 2. Colorism
  • Chapter 3. Impostor Syndrome
  • Chapter 4. Myth of Meritocracy
  • Chapter 5. Politics of Respectability
  • Chapter 6. Toxic Masculinity
  • Chapter 7. Intersectionality
  • Chapter 8. The Male Gaze
  • Chapter 9. White Fragility
  • Chapter 10. Decoloniality
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Latinx activist Rodríguez debuts with an impassioned and accessible guide to dismantling the "systemic oppressions" that hold back women of color. Aiming to redistribute knowledge she gained during her graduate studies to young women who may not have access to higher education, Rodríguez interweaves her life story with primers on such concepts as colonialism, the myth of meritocracy, the male gaze, and intersectionality. Born in Nicaragua and raised in Miami, Rodríguez was encouraged at age 13 by her fundamentalist Christian parents to pray for a "God-fearing" husband. But after scoring well on the SATs and realizing that her poor grades did not reflect her academic potential, Rodríguez set her sights on college, and eventually obtained a Master's in Divinity from Vanderbilt University. She draws on incidents from her early life and academic career to discuss how "voluntourism," even if it's "dressed in the semblance of goodness," obscures how the "current state of so-called developed countries is the result of greed and exploitation from developed countries"; how women of color are socialized to believe that success comes from luck ("imposter syndrome"); and how brown and Black women internalize "colorism." Marked by its candidness and earnest commitment to the power of self-belief, this is an inspiring and well-informed call to action. Agent: David Patterson and Aemilia Phillips, Stuart Krichevsky Literary. (Sept.)

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