By David Hall, Gaming Pedagogy Coordinator
The UNC Latina/o Studies Program’s Speaker Series recently hosted Cherríe Moraga at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. Moraga is one of the most influential Chicano/a writers in the U.S. today. Among other notable works, she is the playwright of Heroes and Saints and the editor for the collection This Bridge Called My Back. UNC Graduate student Emilio Taiveaho recently explained to the Daily Tar Heel that he came to the event “because of a deep, tender love for Cherríe Moraga” and “the rippling effects that This Bridge Called My Back has had on the current world.” This collection brought together the writings of many women of color from diverse backgrounds, and is recognized as a foundational text for third wave feminism and third world feminism. Moraga, a professor at University of California at Santa Barbara, is actively involved in several activist groups. She founded La Red Xicana Indígena, an organization for education, culture rights, and Indigenous Rights. Among others, Moraga has won the Critics Circle Award, the PEN West Literary Award, and the American Book award.
At the event, Cherríe Moraga spoke about her more recent book Native Country of the Heart: If We Forget Ourselves, Who Will Be Left to Remember Us? which focuses on her mother’s life and their relationship. “My mother, she had a huge life before I came into the world,” Moraga says. She continues, “She was 38 when she had me, and so these stories of her past I knew already when I was a little chiquita. My mother was an incredible cuentista, storyteller.” After the talk, which included readings from the book, Moraga showed a slideshow of family photographs and engaged the audience in a Q&A session. “It was wonderful,” another UNC graduate student Marcy Pedzwater said. “She had a lot of really interesting things to say, and I’m excited to read Native Country of the Heart.”
For more information on Moraga and her work, click here.