This Bridge Called My Back, Fortieth Anniversary Edition

Writings by Radical Women of Color

Edited by Cherríe Moraga & Gloria Anzaldúa

Subjects: Women's Studies, Latin American Studies, African American Studies, Indigenous Studies, Asian American Studies
Hardcover : 9781438488271, 342 pages, November 2021
Paperback : 9781438488288, 342 pages, November 2021

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Table of contents


Enough Is Enough: Preface to the Fortieth Anniversary Edition
Cherríe Moraga

Acts of Healing
Gloria Anzaldúa and The Gloria E. Anzaldúa Literary Trust

Catching Fire: Introduction, 2015
Cherríe Moraga

Foreword to the First Edition, 1981
Toni Cade Bambara

The Bridge Poem
Kate Rushin

La Jornada: Preface, 1981
Cherríe Moraga

Introduction, 1981
Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa

Part I: Children Passing in the Streets
The Roots of Our Radicalism

When I Was Growing Up
Nellie Wong

on not bein
mary hope whitehead lee

For the Color of My Mother
Cherríe Moraga

I Am What I Am
Rosario Morales

Dreams of Violence
Naomi Littlebear Morena

He Saw

Part II: Entering the Lives of Others
Theory in the Flesh

Wonder Woman
Genny Lim

La Güera
Cherríe Moraga

Invisibility Is an Unnatural Disaster: Reflections of an Asian American Woman
Mitsuye Yamada

It's in My Blood, My Face—My Mother's Voice, the Way I Sweat
Anita Valerio

"Gee You Don't Seem Like an Indian from the Reservation"
Barbara Cameron

". . . And Even Fidel Can't Change That!"
Aurora Levins Morales

I Walk in the History of My People

Part III: And When You Leave, Take Your Pictures with You
Racism in the Women's Movement

And When You Leave, Take Your Pictures with You
Jo Carillo

Beyond the Cliffs of Abiquiu
Jo Carillo

I Don't Understand Those Who Have Turned Away from Me

Asian Pacific Women and Feminism
Mitsuye Yamada

"—But I Know You, American Woman"
Judit Moschkovich

The Black Back-Ups
Kate Rushin

The Pathology of Racism: A Conversation with Third World Wimmin
doris davenport

We're All in the Same Boat
Rosario Morales

An Open Letter to Mary Daly
Audre Lorde

The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House
Audre Lorde

Part IV: Between the Lines
On Culture, Class, and Homophobia

The Other Heritage
Rosario Morales

The Tired Poem: Last Letter from a Typical (Unemployed) Black Professional Woman
Kate Rushin

To Be Continued . . .
Kate Rushin

Across the Kitchen Table: A Sister-to-Sister Dialogue
Barbara Smith and Beverly Smith

Lesbianism: An Act of Resistance
Cheryl Clarke

Lowriding through the Women's Movement
Barbara Noda

Letter to Ma
Merle Woo

I Come with No Illusions
Mirtha N. Quintanales

I Paid Very Hard for My Immigrant Ignorance
Mirtha N. Quintanales

Earth-Lover, Survivor, Musician
Naomi Littlebear Morena

Part V: Speaking in Tongues
The Third World Woman Writer

Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers
Gloria Anzaldúa

Millicent Fredericks
Gabrielle Daniels

In Search of the Self as Hero: Confetti of Voices on New Year's Night—a Letter to Myself
Nellie Wong

Chicana's Feminist Literature: A Re-vision through Malintzin/or Malintzin Putting Flesh Back on the Object
Norma Alarcón

Ceremony for Completing a Poetry Reading

Part VI: El Mundo Zurdo
The Vision

Give Me Back

La Prieta
Gloria Anzaldúa

A Black Feminist Statement
Combahee River Collective

The Welder
Cherríe Moraga

O.K. Momma, Who the Hell Am I? An Interview with Luisah Teish
Gloria Anzaldúa

Andrea Canaan

Revolution: It's Not Neat or Pretty or Quick
Pat Parker

No Rock Scorns Me as Whore


Afterword: On the Fourth Edition
Cherríe Moraga

Foreword to the Second Edition, 1983
Gloria Anzaldúa

Refugees of a World on Fire: Foreword to the Second Edition, 1983
Cherríe Moraga

Counsels from the Firing . . . past, present, future: Foreword to the Third Edition, 2001
Gloria Anzaldúa

Biographies of Contributors

Biographies of the Original Contributors, 1981


Fortieth anniversary edition of the foundational text of women of color feminism.


Originally released in 1981, This Bridge Called My Back is a testimony to women of color feminism as it emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, the collection explores, as coeditor Cherríe Moraga writes, "the complex confluence of identities—race, class, gender, and sexuality—systemic to women of color oppression and liberation."

Reissued here, forty years after its inception, this anniversary edition contains a new preface by Moraga reflecting on Bridge's "living legacy" and the broader community of women of color activists, writers, and artists whose enduring contributions dovetail with its radical vision. Further features help set the volume's historical context, including an extended introduction by Moraga from the 2015 edition, a statement written by Gloria Anzaldúa in 1983, and visual art produced during the same period by Betye Saar, Ana Mendieta, Yolanda López, and others, curated by their contemporary, artist Celia Herrera Rodríguez. Bridge continues to reflect an evolving definition of feminism, one that can effectively adapt to and help inform an understanding of the changing economic and social conditions of women of color in the United States and throughout the world.

Cherríe Moraga is a poet, playwright, cultural activist, and educator. Her many books include Native Country of the Heart: A Memoir; A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: Writings, 2000–2010; and Loving in the War Years: Lo Que Nunca Pasó por Sus Labios. Gloria Anzaldúa (1942–2004) was a poet, metaphysical philosopher, and scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. Her books include Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza and The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader, a posthumously published collection of her work.


“These essays and poems do more than just revisit the hopes, fears, frustrations, and accomplishments of women of color circa 1981; they also shed light on concerns women continue to face today … There are lines of poetry here sure to stir the imagination and connect with all ages, races, and genders … This Bridge Called My Back deserves to be picked up by a new generation of radical women.” — ForeWord Reviews

“Immense is my admiration for the ongoing dialogue and discourse on feminism, Indigenous feminism, the defining discussions in women of color movements and the broader movement. I have loved this book for thirty years, and am so pleased we have returned with our stories, words, and attributes to the growing and resilient movement.” — Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), Executive Director, Honor the Earth

This Bridge Called My Back … dispels all doubt about the power of a single text to radically transform the terrain of our theory and practice. Twenty years after its publication, we can now see how it helped to untether the production of knowledge from its disciplinary anchors—and not only in the field of women’s studies. This Bridge has allowed us to define the promise of research on race, gender, class and sexuality as profoundly linked to collaboration and coalition-building. And perhaps most important, it has offered us strategies for transformative political practice that are as valid today as they were two decades ago.” — Angela Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz

This Bridge Called My Back … has served as a significant rallying call for women of color for a generation, and this new edition keeps that call alive at a time when divisions prove ever more stubborn and dangerous. A much-cited text, its influence has been visible and broad both in academia and among activists. We owe much of the sound of our present voices to the brave scholars and feminists whose ideas and ideals crowd its pages.” — Shirley Geok-lin Lim, University of California, Santa Barbara

“This book is a manifesto—the 1981 declaration of a new politics ‘US Third World Feminism.’ No great de-colonial writer, from Fanon, Shaarawi, Blackhawk, or Sartre, to Mountain Wolf Woman, de Beauvoir, Saussure, or Newton could have alone proclaimed this ‘politic born of necessity.’ This politic denies no truths: its luminosities drive into and through our bodies. Writers and readers alike become shape-shifters, are invited to enter the shaman/witness state, to invoke power differently. ‘US Third World Feminism’ requires a re-peopling: the creation of planetary citizen-warriors. This book is a guide that directs citizenry shadowed in hate, terror, suffering, disconnection, and pain toward the light of social justice, gender and erotic liberation, peace, and revolutionary love. This Bridge … transits our dreams, and brings them to the real.” — Chela Sandoval, University of California, Santa Barbara