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Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism

Overview

Mainstream rhetoric has made a concerted effort to polarize African Americans and Latinos, emphasizing differences in language and religion, while designating one or the other as the “favored minority” at will. In Witness, Amalia Mesa-Bains and bell hooks invite us to reexamine this politically popular binary and consider which differences are manufactured and which are real.

In Witness, Mesa-Bains and hooks explore their own similarities and differences, sharing the ways their ...

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Overview

Mainstream rhetoric has made a concerted effort to polarize African Americans and Latinos, emphasizing differences in language and religion, while designating one or the other as the “favored minority” at will. In Witness, Amalia Mesa-Bains and bell hooks invite us to reexamine this politically popular binary and consider which differences are manufactured and which are real.

In Witness, Mesa-Bains and hooks explore their own similarities and differences, sharing the ways their childhoods, families, and work have shaped their political activism, teaching, and artistic expression. Drawing on shared experiences of sexism, classism, and racism, hooks and Mesa-Bains show how people from divergent cultural backgrounds can work together for radical social change.

While the black/Latino divide and the increasing cross-community political collaboration has been addressed in progressive newspapers and magazines, Witness, an inclusive call to reflect and act, is the first of its kind to look at these issues in depth. And Amalia Mesa-Bains, a pioneer scholar and producer of Chicana art, with bell hooks, one of the most acclaimed of African American theorists—prove an unparalleled match for the job.

bell hooks is one of the leading public intellectuals of her generation. She has written extensively on the emotional impact of racism and sexism, particularly on black women, as well as the importance of political engagement with art and the media. In her recent work on love, relationships, and community, she shows how emotional health is a necessary component to effective resistance and activism.

Amalia Mesa-Bains is an artist, curator, and writer who has initiated comprehensive exhibitions of Latino art, including Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation and Mi Alma, Mi Tierra, Mi Gente: Contemporary Chicana Art. Her artwork incorporates various aspects of Chicano/a history, culture, and folk traditions, exploring religion, ritual, and female rites of passage. She won a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992.

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Editorial Reviews

Art in America
Amalia Mesa-Bains' installations transform the spaces they occupy into places of mystery and investigation she examines the way that gender and ethnic identity are defined, and explores the complex contemporary dilemmas of the Latino community.
Publishers Weekly
bell hooks is one of the foremost black intellectuals in America today.
Transition
Mesa-Bains work conveys a sense of the epochal sweep of Latin American experience and captures the transformed sense of reality characteristic of diasporan life.
Kirkus Reviews
hooks is an astute and downright brilliant social critic and thinker.
Booklist
bell hooks is ardent, questioning, and rigorous a formidable feminist social and cultural critic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780896087606
  • Publisher: South End Press
  • Publication date: 8/12/2014
  • Pages: 175
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.01 (d)

Meet the Author

bell hooks, author of Feminism is for Everyone, is one of the leading public intellectuals of her generation. She has written extensively on the emotional impact of racism and sexism, particularly on black women, as well as the importance of political engagement with art and the media. In her recent work on love, relationships, and community, she shows how emotional health is a necessary component to effective resistance and activism.

Amalia Mesa-Bains is an artist, curator, and writer who has initiated comprehensive exhibitions of Latino art, including Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation and Mi Alma, Mi Tierra, Mi Gente: Contemporary Chicana Art. Her artwork incorporates various aspects of Chicano/a history, culture, and folk traditions, exploring religion, ritual, and female rites of passage. She won a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1
Family 5
Feminist Iconography 27
Resistance Pedagogies 45
Public Culture 61
Multiculturalism 75
Home 97
Memory 107
Altars 117
Day of the Dead 123
Afterword 131
About the Authors 147
About South End Press 149
Related Titles From South End Press 150
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a scholar must have

    Dana Perea-Bloede, Artist, Chicago State University
    Great discussions on how Black and Chicano cultures have influenced eachother. Mesa-Bains is amazing.

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