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<i>Hija De Mi Madre</i> by Carmen Mojica

Hija De Mi Madre by Carmen Mojica

Welcome back to my monthly book giveaway!

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One of two books I’m giving away is Carmen Mojica Fabian’s Hija De Mi Madre, a poetry chapbook I’ll soon have on my bookshelf and I suggest others get that as well. I can tell you more about the book, but I’ll let her tell it in a few minutes. Now, the details:

To win the book, you must:

1) Add my like page on Facebook. (If you already did, you’re good.)

2) Leave a comment here on this post with the phrase, “It’s a must that I bust any mic you hand to me.” (Yes, it’s a Rakim lyric.)

The last day for eligibility is Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 at 11:59pm. I’ll announce the winner the morning after. The winner will be chosen at random based on the aforementioned qualifying details. Once you win, I’ll contact you directly with further details.

Now, for more about the book, please read this passionate letter from the author herself, Ms. Mojica Fabian.

I remember sitting at the back of the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe watching the Friday night slam and think about what had just happened only hours ago. What was once a dream in my life – to finish writing a book and have a celebration for it – has come true in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It was truly a great night, but also bittersweet at the end, as I sat alone watching the slam that night.

I am on the cusp of the next chapter of my life; knowing that involves reconciling with the past and looking forward to the future of of my evolution. I reflect on what I’ve done and the person I’m becoming.

I can still remember that December night in 2004 when I finally had the guts to cut it all off and go natural. It was a freedom I didn’t know existed; it was also a reason to challenge the effects of racism and socially imposed standards of beauty on my self-esteem. Coming to terms with my African roots was hard. For most of my life, I wanted nothing to do with my African-ness, the very heritage that would stare back at me when I would look in the mirror. It took me almost 20 years to embrace it and, among other influences, writing about my experience was instrumental in unraveling the web of self-hatred.

My book, “Hija De Mi Madre” is the culmination of experiences and undergraduate research that describe and explain the effects of my identity as an African Latina on my life. It is a combination of memoirs, poems and research material that not only explain the effects of race on identity from an academic standpoint but also shares my own life as a living example. Self-hatred is a disease that runs rampant throughout much of the African Diaspora due to colonization and the dehumanization that occurred at that time. In the Latino culture, the African component of the Latino identity is often ignored, denied and is not usually a subject that is up for discussion. The original reason I wrote my book was because of one of my last classes while still at SUNY New Paltz.

I was in a class called, “Women in the Caribbean,” and one of the topics for discussion was the Afro Latina identity. At the time, as I was still exploring my racial identity, this topic took hold of my attention and I decided to do my final paper on the topic. It was hard to find writing by Afro Latinos as I did my research. After I finished the paper, I decided to add my voice to the research I had done.

These days, I am still ever learning about my racial identity. And ever since I made the choice to write and complete my book, more and more awareness is building around the subject of African ancestry in the Latino culture has cropped up in many places. Events, books, and even documentaries are telling our story in full. As I tell my story, at presentations and even one-on-one, I realize that not only do we all have stories, but they too are ever changing. They are influenced by the stories that we become a part of; the ones we interact with, burn bridges with, start new chapters with. I suppose all this talk about stories is a roundabout way of expressing this point I’m at in my life. This new chapter of embarking on becoming a birth professional and bringing the love and lessons I’ve been learning about being an Afro-Latina woman into that new venture has showed me the importance of a few things. Relating to other through our stories, gaining strength to continue on our paths and moments of self-reflection are essential in the path to self-awareness.

If you’re interested in checking out my work, here are links to my thoughts, words and my book:
My blogspot: http://www.reluctantbeauty.blogspot.com/
My Tumblr: http://www.mujerinterrumpida.tumblr.com/
Where you can get my book: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/hija-de-mi-madre/7682210

And there you have it. You know you really want this book. This nugget’s for my most dedicated readers. As for me, I have one more nugget to share with all of you.

Jose, who’s in a very generous mood …

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