Starting this month, we’re officially getting back to reviewing a book once a month. And we’ll just go ahead and get started with Ana Castillo’s Massacre of the Dreamers, which I finished reading just earlier today!
Massacre of the Dreamers is crucial literature for any activist in the 21st century, as Castillo searingly navigates through the century-old roots of oppression at the heart of the Americas: the oppression of the brown woman.
Castillo not only details the layers of misogynist systems which brown women have faced throughout their existence, but she also manages to cast a vision for those of us who want to be allies of Xicanisma –Chicana-based feminist consciousness — as we seek to free ourselves from our own internalized oppression.
Steeped with fact-based analysis but not overwhelmingly focused on numbers, the book is also a model for what academic literature should be: based on the present conditions faced ‘on the ground’ by non-academics, since the majority of the working class which so many scholars hope to advocate for have neither the time nor the patience to sift through jargon-laden writing aimed at other academics.
M.O.D was published in 1995, but is as relevant now as it was during the nineties for its careful examination of events like the Chicano Student walkouts of East Los Angeles in 1968, subsequent movements for economic justice such as the 1986 Watsonville Women’s Strike, and the form which the movement has taken more recently in events such as the Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) conference.
I started reading the book for another project yours truly is working on, and I’m sure glad I did, as it’s led me to the work of other great women’s writing that will also make its way to the reviews section soon.
For now, I would absolutely recommend Ana Castillo’s book for anyone looking to learn about such an important yet undervalued part of our society today: the Amerindian, or Mestiza mujer.