Language Is a Place of Struggle: Great Quotes by Americans of Color

Overview

"Language Is a Place of Struggle" is the first truly multiracial and polycultural quote book, collecting quotations from both historical and contemporary novelists and poets, activists and political leaders, and artists and musicians. Within these pages, readers will find wisdom, wit, and inspiration from Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Arab Americans, American Indians, recent immigrants to the United States, and many others.

With nearly fifteen hundred quotations, ...

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Overview

"Language Is a Place of Struggle" is the first truly multiracial and polycultural quote book, collecting quotations from both historical and contemporary novelists and poets, activists and political leaders, and artists and musicians. Within these pages, readers will find wisdom, wit, and inspiration from Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Arab Americans, American Indians, recent immigrants to the United States, and many others.

With nearly fifteen hundred quotations, this exceptional book covers a broad spectrum: from insights on spirituality to words inciting social change and justice; from the impact of colonization, slavery, and racism to observations on gender, sexuality, and identity. The quotes show how people of color in the United States have been shaped by various community histories, ongoing political and cultural struggles, and personal evolutions. Each quote reflects three core themes from the histories of people of color in America: the significance of mass movements and the role of individuals within them; the vision that binds one society to another; and the foundational relationship between an evolving society and a changing self. Each chapter—Roots, Selves, Relationship, Work and Play, Making Change, and Inner Visions—adds to the larger story about people of color in the context of history, culture, and community.

An invaluable tool for speechwriters, educators, ministers, and librarians that is accessibly organized for all readers, this entertaining and thought-provoking book is a much-needed resource for anyone interested in multicultural issues. Here you will find: Gloria Anzaldúa on borders and margins; Margaret Cho on failure and success; Edwidge Danticat on women who write; Junot Díaz on masculinity; Vine Deloria, Jr., on activism; Suheir Hammad on miscegenation and identity; bell hooks on identity and oppression; Edward P. Jones on the system of racism; Philip Vera Cruz on leadership; Chögyam Trungpa on spiritual materialism; and much more.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives. —Toni Morrison, Black novelist

"Indians think it is important to remember, while Americans believe it is important to forget."—Paula Gunn Allen, American Indian writer

"As a Vietnamese refugee who became an American writer, I can tell you that you matter, that your sadness matters, the story of how you survived and triumphed matters. For every story that belongs to you, in time, belongs to America."—Andrew Lam, Asian American writer

"Migration is the story of my body."—Victor Hernández Cruz, Latino poet

"Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead."—Barack Obama, Black politician

"If you silence yourself, if you try to be good, if you try to be polite, or toe a party line, you end up paying for that in the long run. You pay for it . . . with your homeland, or with your soul, or with your artistic vision."—Diana Abu-Jaber, Arab American novelist

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Black, Latino, Asian-American, and American-Indian artists, writers, activists, and scholars are quoted in this striking collection. Living in the United States as minorities, these individuals reveal unique perspectives on contemporary American life. Nguyen freely admits in the foreword that this is a subjective collection, a fact that becomes clearer with each passing page. The entries are arranged by subject: "Roots," "Selves," "Relationship," "Work and Play," "Making Change," and "Inner Visions," categories that are further subdivided into sections such as "Education" and "Gender" in "Selves." Despite the fact that many of the quotes contain themes of struggle, disappointment, and pain, the selections are woven into a string of exquisite prose. The lack of an index is somewhat disappointing, but reading the book a section at a time is an enjoyable and thought-provoking experience.-Ivy Miller, Wyoming Seminary Upper School, Kingston, PA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807048009
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 11/21/2008
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Tram Nguyen is the author of We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities after 9/11. She lives in Oakland, California.

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