Showing posts from April, 2021

¡VIVA LA MUJER! How to Grab a Cloud by María Elena Fernández

Celebrate International Women’s Day, my charge.  My fingers rebel, searching for something to celebrate.  Viva la mujer?  Can’t do empty platitudes. Or one-dimensional profiles of the heroines who fascinated me when I was younger, like Josefina Fierro de Bright (pictured left) and Luisa Moreno.  Both played key leadership roles defending the rights of immigrants in the late 1930s and in 1942 spearheaded the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee that secured a successful appeal when 11 Latino young men were convicted of murder with no credible evidence. I elevated their elegant portraits gracing book covers to the level of heroines and icons.   But digging deeper, I find out one became infertile after a back alley abortion; the other was estranged from her daughter who she often left in the care of others, and by 1950, their organizations crushed by McCarthyism, they were deported or fled to their native countries.  And I, too, was crushed. Turns out I did need them to be one-dimensional and