Analysis Of Cindy Cruz's 'Toward An Epistemology Of A Brown Body'

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Critical Summary Cindy Cruz’s “Toward an epistemology of a brown body” addresses the absence of educational research regarding the “brown body” and sexual orientation of Latinx. Cruz discusses her experience as a lesbiana and not knowing there was a possibility that anyone else in her family shared her orientation. She reflects on her grandmother’s funeral and how she became aware of the “generations of queers” that surrounded her (Cruz 2001, 658). Knowledge of the brown body, Cruz claims, comes from mothers and grandmothers and from the actions of past women of color. Stories about the brown body experiences are often dismissed due to the fact that they are performed rather than explained, and the theoretical aspect of these accounts exists outside of our present reality (Cruz 2001, 659). There are many ways to view the world and the human experience, including those of the oppressed such as women of color, mestizas, and LGBTQA+. Cruz uses the writings of Chicana theorist Gloria Anzaldúa as a base for her own analyses. From Anzaldúa’s notions, Cruz concludes that mestizaje, or the consciousness of metizas, can change the way society interprets contrasting ideas of rationalism and positivism in a way that allows the mind and body to be one. Cruz then moves onto explaining how Chicana education researchers could reclaim their history and experience: (a) through recognizing the points of views of communities that actively participate in government and (b) through commitment
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