Law Text Culture


I remember my first reading of the inspiring anthology, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color (1983) at the recommendation of a university professor. This anthology, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, gave voice to the feelings of displacement I encountered as a Filipina migrant to a settler nationstate like Australia. Although I read this book twenty years after the first edition was published, the stories, poetry, and illustrations etched across its pages spoke of what I was never encouraged to admit as a Filipino immigrant to Australia: that is, being a racialised female was something that merited acknowledgement, not derision, apathy or effacement. The anthology was a call to arms that deployed a communal invitation to stand up, speak out, and redress the ongoing colonial and imperial acts of violence that reduced ‘women of color’ as ‘less than’, even within supposedly pro-women feminist spaces. In her chapter, ‘Speaking In Tongues: A Letter to 3rd World Women Writers’, Anzaldúa begins with ‘Dear mujeres de color’ (women of color) (1983: 165), already positioning this anthology as a text that negotiates and challenges the normative English-language centrism of the academe and white, western feminist spaces.