Cherríe Moraga : biography
Cherríe L. Moraga (born September 25, 1952) is a Chicana writer, feminist activist, poet, essayist, and playwright. She is part of the faculty at Stanford University in the Department of Drama and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Her works explore the ways in which gender, sexuality and race intersect in the lives of women of color.
- National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Scholars Award, 2001.
- David R. Kessler Award. The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York. (In honor of contributions to the field of Queer Studies), 2000.
- The First Annual Cara Award. UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center/ Cesar Chavez Center for Interdisciplinary Instruction in Chicana/Chicano Studies, 1999.
- The Fund for New American Plays Award, a project of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 1995 and 1991.
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Ellas in Acción, San Francisco, 1995.
- Lesbian Rights Award, Southern California Women for Understanding ("for Outstanding Contributions in Lesbian Literature and for Service to the Lesbian Community"), 1991.
- The National Endowment for the Arts Theater Playwrights' Fellowship, 1993.
- The PEN West Literary Award for Drama, 1993.
- The (Bay Area Theatre?) Critics' Circle Award for Best Original Script, 1992 (Heroes and Saints).
- The Will Glickman Playwriting Award, 1992.
- The Drama-logue Award for Playwriting, 1992.
- The Outlook Foundation, Literary Award, 1991.
- The California Arts Council Artists in Community Residency Award, 1991-2 /1993-5.
- The American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, 1986.
- The Creative Arts Public Service (CAPS) Grant for Poetry, New York State, 1983.
- The Mac Dowell Colony Fellowship for Poetry, New Hampshire, 1982.
After her college years, Moraga openly accepted her lesbianism, after hiding it from others and herself, and was then when she compared those feelings and emotions she was experiencing to her mother’s feelings. She was making a connection between the way that the society was discriminating her by being a lesbian and the feelings her mother faced by the oppression of being poor, a women of color and with a lack of education. “My lesbianism is the avenue through which I have learned the most about silence and oppression, and it continues to be the most tactile reminder to me that we are not free human beings” describing lesbianism as poverty, just as being dark, women or simply poor. Her own acceptance as a lesbian made her embrace her ethnic background and sexual orientation, which later helped and guided her through the struggles she faced. She understood that even in her generation, women continued to be discriminated against and were not free since there are still many standards that the U.S society has constructed and strengthen throughout the years. Early in her life Moraga got involved in writing but did not get serious until after she “came out” as a lesbian. She began to get involved in feminism. She writes about having to choose between referring to herself as a “Chicana lesbian” or a “lesbian Chicana”–linguistically, only one of these two identities can serve as the essential part of her being, while the other can only serve as a modifier. Knowing and being proud of her sexuality was easier for Moraga to express her feelings and thoughts on writing. Her work has been part of who she is a women that identifies as a Chicana and a lesbian. Her perspective on most of her work and writings exploring multiple intersecting identities as a “Xicanadyke” in the U.S., which composes the “raza” identity and sexual orientation, and how this has shaped her interactions with both the gay and lesbian movement and the Chicano movement. Nevertheless, the oppositional consciousness that she brings in her work has served as one of her most important characteristics. This “oppositional consciousness” is in stark contrast to the assimilationist core of many of the activist movements that Moraga criticizes.http://introqueerlit.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/cherrie-moraga-assimilation-and-activism/
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