The Chicana writer freely crossed lines united cultures with the same spirit as many Latin music artists today.
Chicana writer, poet and scholar Gloria E. Anzaldúa is today’s (Sept. 26) Google Doodle. Posted on what would have been Anzaldúa’s 75th birthday, Google’s illustrated tribute honors Hispanic Heritage month while contributing to the current conversation about borders and the rights of freedom of expression and to speak out against injustice.
“Write with your eyes like painters, with your ears like musicians, with your feet like dancers,” Anzaldúa, who died from diabetes-related complications on May 15, 2004. urged. “You are the truthsayer with quill and torch. Write with your tongues on fire.”
Who was Gloria E. Anzaldúa? Here are five things to know about the subject of today’s Google Doodle:
1. Gloria E. Anzaldúa was born on Sept. 26, 1942 in the Rio Grande Valley. She grew up on ranches on the Mexico/United States border where her parents were employed as migrant farmworkers.
“For writer and scholar Gloria E. Anzaldúa, a border wasn’t just a line on a map,” Google explained about Anzaldúa when announcing the Doodle. “It was a state of mind and a viewpoint on life…Anzaldúa possessed an astounding gift for transforming dividing lines into unifying visions.”
2. In 1974, Anzaldúa did graduate and Doctoral Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where she also taught a pioneering course called “La Mujer Chicana.”
3. While not a musician, Anzaldúa freely crossed lines and united cultures with the same spirit as many Latin music artists from yesterday and today.
“Today's Doodle celebrates Anzaldúa's ability to live across borders, whether geographical, social, or philosophical,” the Google team wrote. “She put it best: "To survive the Borderlands / you must live sin fronteras / be a crossroads."
4. Anzaldúa’s 1987 bilingual book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza is her best-known book, acknowledged as a groundbreaking work in cultural, feminist, and queer theories. In the book, she talked about the negative way that she was treated because of her accent, among other reflections on her own life. The book also examined the borders for Latinas, lesbians and Latinos in American society.
5. Anzaldúa ‘s many awards included the Lambda Lesbian Small Book Press Award, a Sappho Award of Distinction, and an NEA Fiction Award.