EXCERPT: HIJA DE MI MADRE

Carmen Mojica

Every part of this book is an example of people like you and I. I speak to a variety of frames of mind and emotions that resonates in silence. I divided this book intro 3 parts and started with "Africa" first. My outward appearance affected me first. Being the skin tone considered the most undesirable is not easy. I felt that that was the most obvious thing that connected me to the motherland and is the root of my entire cultural identity. It is also one of the innumerable things I connect on with my other brothers and sisters of the African Diaspora.

"Latina" is second for a more intellectual reason. Although I identify with each part of my identity equally, I feel it is the adobo that gives my life flavor. A meal is not complete without a little bit of seasoning to bring the taste to life. Being a Latina provides an infusion of many different cultures to color my life beautiful. In the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Caribbean islands are the second stop after the slave traders captured Africans to work in the New World. I feel this infusion more so because of the European and Arabic (because of Spain's history with the Moors) influences that create the Latino culture.

"Mujer" is last but certainly not least for a more personal reason. In my life, understanding what it meant to be an African Latina took precedence because it affected me for a majority of it in terms of identity and self-image issues. After I came to terms with my culture and heritage, I began exploring the woman I am becoming as I get older. It is last because it is the beginning of the new page in the book of my life. Being an Afro-Latina is very dear to my heart and now I am at a point of life where I am tying my womanhood into that identity.

The purpose of this book is to not only share the research that has contributed to me becoming a more informed individual but to make my experience relatable, address the effect of racism on identity and add to the small-yet-growing number of books and articles written about the Afro-Latino experience from the Afro-Latino point of view.