La Prieta By Gloria Anzaldúa Summary

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Gloria Anzaldúa’s “La Prieta” tell her struggles with identity by talking about prejudices she dealt with while growing up. These prejudices, such as colorism, sexism, and heteronormativity, were not only held by people outside her social groups but within them as well. Anzaldúa goes on to explain the way identity is formed by intersecting factors and not only one aspect of someone’s life therefore denying one factor of identity can cause isolation and self-hatred.
The fact that Anzaldúa developed faster than is deemed normal the first struggle in forming her identity. This caused her to alienate herself since her mother asked her to keep a part of herself hidden from the world by binding her and making sure no one found out she menstruated ealy (Anzaldúa 1983, 221). This will later isolate her further but ultimately lead her to reflect on the racism that surrounds her. In addition, Anzaldúa’s identity also suffer because she denied her heritage and the traditions that with it. She mentions that she felt ashamed of her mother and her loud tendencies, it is an archetype that most Hispanic mothers are loud by nature, and the fact that her lunches, or “lonches”, consisted
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The colorism she first faced was her grandmother inspecting her the shade of color of her skin to see if she looked more European or Indigenous (Anzaldúa 1983, 221). Colorism occurs when someone, generally darker skinned, is less desirable due to the shade of color of their skin within their own family. Anzaldúa faced this when she was called “muy prieta” and was told to stay out of the sun in order to keep her skin lighter. She was also shamed by her family for being openly sexual by being called “puta” and “jota (queer)” when she told them of her friends’ sexual orientation (Anzaldúa 1983, 227). Those labels were used to shame her for her lifestyle as well as to give power to the patriarchy and heteronormative society she resided
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