Carina del Valle Schorske

  • What’s Past Is Prologue

    In “La Guera,” her famous 1979 essay about coming to racial self-consciousness as a light-skinned, mixed-race Chicana, Cherríe Moraga identifies first and foremost as a daughter: “I had no choice but to enter into the life of my mother. I had no choice.” This is, of course, a natural fact about how we all are born. But it is also a kind of alibi—an italicized plea for forgiveness in advance. From the beginning of her career, she has scavenged her migrant mother’s story for material applicable to her own emerging politics as a lesbian feminist. Those politics came to be profoundly influential: