Some passages that resound: A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. The world is not a safe place to live in. We shiver in separate cells in enclosed cities, shoulders hunched, barely keeping the panic below the surface of the skin, daily drinking shock along with our morning coffee, fearing the torches being set to our buildings, the attacks in the streets. Shutting down. Woman does not feel safe when her own culture, and white culture, are critical of her; when the males of all races hunt her as prey.

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But what happens when that liminal state is a permanent residence? Although Anzaldua passed away in , her ideas may be even more relevant today.

As an American-born Chicana, Anzaldua explores the contradictions and challenges of being considered neither one nor the other. She notes often in her writing that this Otherness is socially and culturally — and sometimes — infrastructurally constructed. Those who permanently reside in this liminal state already are not considered normal, Anzaldua asserts. Americans see the border people as too Mexican. Mexicans see the border people as too American. What remains for those of us who oppose the wall is less how we can stop something that will occur anyway and more how we can eschew labels and embrace the Otherness of those along the border.

That trick, Anzaldua writes, will require us to fight against what she calls cultural tyranny. To do so, we need to understand our dominant culture — what it represents and what the effects are. Our dominant society has helped us develop images, stereotypes of Mexican nationals, Chicanx peoples, border peoples.

We need a new consciousness, Anzaldua writes, one that values not one dominant culture but one that values more. In essence, the border culture is to be embraced. That open wound, the split, needs to heal, and we can aid by starting to walk away from what Anzaldua terms dualistic thinking. Anzaldua uses a clever analogy of corn to explain how escaping dualism can benefit us.

Corn, of course, is a staple of Mexican food culture. Miles literally and figuratively away , corn also is a staple of Midwest American food culture. Corn can be transformed into tortillas; anyone who has travelled rural American has seen signs in corn fields touting the newest hybrid. And it is effective. Her metaphors underscore her assertions and her poetry gives images to our ideas.

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Gloria Anzaldúa

The first part, divided into seven chapters, is mostly prose based upon a specific topic. Anzaldua mixes in some poetry in both Spanish and English, but she mostly sticks to prose. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from a great Hispanic thinker. In the second part Anzaldua writes abstract poems.


Embracing the Border: Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera

During this time period, immigration towards the US from Mexico was increasing. During the s Gloria started writing, teaching, and traveling to workshops on Chicanas. Este el efuerzo de todos nuestros hermanos y latinoamericanos que han sabido progressar. This is the work of all our brothers and Latin Americans who have known how to progress. Within this first chapter, Anzaldua begins her book by arguing against the Anglos notion that the land belongs to the descendants of European families. The first recorded evidence of "humankind in the U. Because of the fiction of "White Superiority" [10] the only legitimate inhabitants are those in power, the whites and those who align themselves with whites.

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