For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts: A Love Letter to Women of Color

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez. Seal, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5416-7487-5
Latinx activist Rodríguez debuts with an impassioned and accessible guide to dismantling the “systemic oppressions” that hold back women of color. Aiming to redistribute knowledge she gained during her graduate studies to young women who may not have access to higher education, Rodríguez interweaves her life story with primers on such concepts as colonialism, the myth of meritocracy, the male gaze, and intersectionality. Born in Nicaragua and raised in Miami, Rodríguez was encouraged at age 13 by her fundamentalist Christian parents to pray for a “God-fearing” husband. But after scoring well on the SATs and realizing that her poor grades did not reflect her academic potential, Rodríguez set her sights on college, and eventually obtained a Master’s in Divinity from Vanderbilt University. She draws on incidents from her early life and academic career to discuss how “voluntourism,” even if it’s “dressed in the semblance of goodness,” obscures how the “current state of so-called developed countries is the result of greed and exploitation from developed countries”; how women of color are socialized to believe that success comes from luck (“imposter syndrome”); and how brown and Black women internalize “colorism.” Marked by its candidness and earnest commitment to the power of self-belief, this is an inspiring and well-informed call to action. Agent: David Patterson and Aemilia Phillips, Stuart Krichevsky Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/21/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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