GUEST SPEAKER AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY

san-diego-web-1024x619 By: Gilberto Contreras

I have been honored by a professor in the gender and women’s studies department of San Diego State University to speak in his graduate class about my involvement in the Raza Studies Movement.

Being a gender and women’s studies class, many of my favorite feminist activist authors are talked about.

The ideas of Gloria Anzaldua, Audre Lorde, and Cherrie Moraga supplied the content for this class.

Theory in the Flesh was the main topic from last Friday.

Theory in the Flesh, coined by Cherrie Moraga states “A theory in the flesh means one where the physical realities of our lives-our skin color, the land or concrete we grew up on, our sexual longings-all fuse to create a politic born out of necessity…”

This means that our past shaped the activist, the passion, the drive that we have as humans.

The group of students were stumbling over each other to speak about this topic. This group had ten students and more than half are of color.

Once the conversation began, what I enjoyed most was that many of the students began to speak about their upbringing. Most of the students were born and raised in San Diego or California.

There was one story stuck with me. One student spoke about her upbringing in Tijuana and how she moved to San Diego after middle school because of her parent’s desire for her receiving a quality education. She stated that she connected with Theory in the Flesh differently than the other students. She said that ‘this is why this theory is not one sided, we can share similar backgrounds but have different stories, but while also having the same passion for equality’

That quote from her was the one thing that I wanted a student to get. I want people to understand that because we might share the same skin tone, or childhood barrios, or the same tongue, we should not assume we share same views.

We can be fighting for the same outcome, equality, diversity, voice, knowledge, but the way we move forward can look different. We as a community have to be aware of different ways of succeeding and being open to the opinions of allies.

There will be many hit and misses, but an open mind to new ways is necessary for people to develop a higher consciousness.

One comment

  1. So happy you are back in Tucson, Gilberto! You bring a wealth of knowledge and perspective to Casa Maria…this was the first time I’d heard of ‘Theory in the Flesh’. Like to talk with you about it sometime… Well-written piece.! Congratulations for having been invited to speak there!

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