Sunday, August 26, 2007

Left Turn "Gets" DIVAS DON'T YIELD

The following is an excerpt of a review of Divas Don't Yield in Left Turn, a magazine published by "a national network of activists engaged in exposing and fighting the consequences of global capitalism and imperialism. Rooted in a variety of social movements, we are anti-capitalists, radical feminists, anti-racists, and anti-imperialists working to build resistance and alternatives to corporate power and empire." Chica Luna Productions and/or Sister Outsider Entertainment have also been profiled in the latest issues of Ms. and Colorlines. It is awesome to discover fellow activists who recognize that entertainment can be a tool for social change.
By Stephanie Gentry-Fern�ndez
Published on: September 01, 2006
When I heard the phrase "Chica Lit," I couldn't help but picture super-femme straight Latinas that wear shoes that cost more than my couch—similar to "Sex in the City," but with an all-Latina cast. Something about the up-and-coming genre didn't mesh with my flea-market shopping, bad haircut sporting, comfortable shoe wearing, Queer Mestiza revolucionaria self. But thanks to Quintero, my own definition of Chica Lit has expanded to include Queer women, badly-dressed women, women who are still "figuring it out," women who got their volunteer/activist self going on and maintain that self while talking to their folks, fierce freedom-fighting women, and survivors. You know, folks kind of like me.
Divas Don't Yield follows the journeys of Jackie, Hazel, Irena, and Lourdes as they drive from NYC to San Francisco to attend a women's conference. A series of emails introduces the protagonists and their initial plans for the trip. Their unique goals and collective excitement is tangible enough that I found myself thinking and planning for my own upcoming road trips. The narrator shifts from character to character with each chapter, and through this we become intimately entwined in the struggles and triumphs that are as diverse as each character's hair texture, skin color, and ethnicity. But rather than patronize some of the major challenges that affect so many youth of color today, Quintero paints lovingly realistic portraits of familias struggling with political head butting, substance use, tradition, violence, immigration, abandonment, aspiration, prison, homophobia, and simple over-protectiveness; familias, both literal and figurative, that remain loyal to each other in spite of their differences.
Click here to read the rest of this review.

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