This photo was taken at Dillon Beach, California on a summer day with my comadre, Aimee Medina Carr, the author of the novel, River of Love. Homebound Publications releases this coming of age novel on Sept. 24th, 2019. I am celebrating along with the author because this was my first attempt at mentoring a new writer into the world of writing, editing, revising, revising, revising, submitting, publishing, promoting, and enduring the success that comes with publishing your first book.
Aimee and I have a relationship that goes back to the '60s. Yes, you heard me right. I said the 60's. We grew up in a small community in Southern Colorado. The headquarters in the '20s of the KKK.
We survived and went onto become educators, filmmakers, writers, performance artists, poets, novelists, mothers, wives, and friends. They say blood is thicker than water; however, our blood connects us in more ways than just being from the same ancestry. We grew up in the '70s and survived. We are survivors. We did what we had to do to survive. Now it's 2019, and we are both published and accomplished writers.
We write to set ourselves free but to free the minds of others who need freedom. I write for my students who are growing up in a community of racism. Yes, I said it. Racism. Aimee and I survived because we had each other. Now we are grown-ass women, and we see babies in cages, and our blood boils. How can it be that after all of the protesting, voting for equal rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, that government continues to rape, plunder, and violate all that this country stands for? I'm outraged.
Aimee and I continue to fight racism with words from two girls who survived the racism of a place that had removed the Southern Ute from their winter hunting grounds, removed African Americans from their homes by burning crosses in their yard. The kids who live here no longer hear those stories. We plan to change that. We educate the next generation of what happens when the place is stolen, and innocents are hung, shot, killed, and displaced. It's called gentrification.
Writing a book is not for the glory, the money, the recognition. It's for educating and or entertaining the person who reads the book and then tells a friend, who tells a friend, who ends up sharing the lesson to their students, who grow up knowledgeable about racism and pass it on to the next generation.
Aime and I both grew up with a two-spirit sibling. Aimee had her two-spirit relationship. I had mine. They were vastly different experiences; however, we learned about homophobia and xenophobia and racism. Yes, all three. Oh, and sexism. Don't forget how women have been disrespected and violated over the centuries. So we could cry, victim; or we could do something about it. We did something about it. We wrote. We wrote about our heartaches, our mistakes, our successes, our growth as human beings. We told our stories on paper, and I tell my stories on stages to educate to entertain, to explain racism in this country. Two brown girls taking on the country with pens in hand. We didn't know white privilege, look at those brown faces, eyes, hair, and souls in these photos.
We worked our asses off to find our strengths. We are writers. We tell stories. Our ancestors rest in their graves, knowing we will tell their stories to any who will listen. We write about what it is for us to be Chicana in this country. We are both Mexican and Indian. We are Mexican-Indians. Not Mexican Americans. We hang onto our indigenous roots. We have ancestors who never crossed the border. The border crossed us.
There are babies in cages on the southern border, and parents weeping for their stolen children. What are we going to do to free them?