Cherríe Lawrence Moraga (born September 25, 1952) is a Chicana writer, feminist activist, poet, essayist, and playwright. She is part of the faculty at Stanford University in the Department of Drama and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Her works explore the ways in which gender, sexuality and race intersect in the lives of women of color.
Moraga was born of mixed blood parentage on September 25, 1952 in Whittier, California located approximately 10 miles southeast from Los Angeles. Raised in California’s San Gabriel Valley, Moraga felt the effects of her mixed ethnicity—Mexican and Anglo—from an early age. Her early writing acknowledges the complex relationship of being able to "pass" for white, while emotionally deeply identifying with the non-white part of her identity and her extended Chicano (Mexican American) family. In her article, "La Guera," she compares the difference between her life being fair-skinned, with her mother's life as an easily identifiable Hispanic woman. For a long time, she used her Anglo looks to her advantage, until she realized that, "it is frightening to acknowledge that I have internalized a racism and class-ism, where the object of oppression not only someone outside of my skin, but the someone inside my skin." In those moments, she realized that she herself had been undermining her Chicana culture, by conforming to an Anglo culture, as she calls it. Her family has remained a large focus of her writing—her Mexican American mother, specifically, who was forced to leave school at an early age to support her younger siblings. As a working class writer, Moraga's acknowledges that the main inspiration to become a writer was her mother, who was an eminent storyteller. Moraga earned her Bachelor's degree from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, California, a nonsectarian college, which Moraga describes as "Radical Catholic." She graduated in 1974 earning a Bachelor's Degree in English. Soon after attending Immaculate Heart College, she enrolled in a writing class at the Women's Building and produced her first lesbian poems. In 1977 she moved to San Francisco where she supported herself as a waitress, became politically active as a burgeoning feminist, and eventually found her way to women of color feminism. She earned her Master's Degree in Feminist Writings from San Francisco State University in 1980. This was the same period of her association with Gloria Anzaldúa, and the project of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, which would be published in 1981...
Quotes by Cherrie Moraga
A writer will write with or without a movement; but at the same time, for Chicano, lesbian, gay and feminist writers-anybody writing against the grain of Anglo misogynist culture-political movements are what have allowed our writing to surface from the secret places in our notebooks into the public sphere.
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