An excerpt from “La Prieta,” an essay in This Bridge Called My Back
By Gloria Anzaldúa
Over the years, the confines of farm and ranch life began to chafe. The traditional role of la mujer was a saddle I did not want to wear. The concepts “passive” and “dutiful” raked my skin like spurs and “marriage” and “children” set me bucking faster than rattlesnakes or coyotes. I took to wearing boots and men’s jeans and walking about with my head full of visions, hungry for more words and more words. Slowly I unbowed my head, refused my estate and began to challenge the way things were. But it’s taken over thirty years to unlearn the belief instilled in me that white is better than brown — something that some people of color never will unlearn. And it is only now that the hatred of myself, which I spent the greater part of my adolescence cultivating, is turning to love.