Resistance and healing are key to my continual progress and success generally, but especially at a predominantly white institution (PWI). Of course, I wouldn’t know this until being knee-deep in the pain of it all–until I first picked up Gloria Anzaldúa’s La Frontera, read the first few sentences and I started to cry. Lloré.
Healing is painful, especially the needed healing you have learned to repress in order to succeed–the visibility and validation you have had to learn to live without, learned never to expect.
I still can’t just read xicana works. I still cry. Pero, “no hay tiempo ni espacio para llorar”–Si, el dicho that serves as the title of the intro de Chicana Sin Vergüenza, because it is true that “it hints at the urgency of working toward change” (Torres 3) and “also implies that we might have to work through some pain in order to accomplish effective relationships” (Torres 3).
Academic papers for class, scholarly proposals and articles must be written. Work must be done.
Writing traditional academic papers as a ventriloquist is not my goal. My voice, I have decided, because of who I am and what I want to accomplish in this world, must be more. As I began to read xicana works, I realized that I have never been alone in this thought. Many before me have felt and believed as I do. Many continue.
As I sit here at home and write, I see that acts of resistance such as this feel empowering. But, I know that is only half true. Acts of resistance are also damaging because it is painful to challenge the Dominant. This is true because my culture is, in Anzaldúa’s words, “es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country–a border culture” (25).
I am not an either/or. I am an and living in situations that call for more or less of what surrounds my coordinating conjunction.