The following is the address that was given at the Sixth Annual Women of Color Day Celebration at the University of Massachusetts at Boston on March 5, 1993.
In a racist and sexist world, our realities are hardly ever alluded to, let alone affirmed; the way we see ourselves and the way we experience the world is hardly ever reflected in the images we see around us or in the stories we read. We constantly have to translate information in order to make it relevant and applicable to our lives. Our realities, experiences are often discounted, overlooked and ignored. Both racism and sexism make us feel bad about ourselves and about each other. Sexism devalues our humanness, our goodness, abilities and power as females and encourages us to compete to get male attention. Racism devalues our humanness, our goodness, abilities and power as people of color, feeds false information about each other and pits us one against each other. It is no wonder that we have a hard time trying to remember who we really are and our natural deep connections with each other.
As a community of women of color, we have all felt the effects of both racism and sexism. But the way racism and sexism work on each community of color is quite specific and different. (The stereotypes and messages put out for and about Hispanic. Afro-American. and Asian women are not quite the same, for example.)
Tan, Cheng Imm
"Women of Color Reclaiming Power,"
Trotter Review: Vol. 7
, Article 11.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umb.edu/trotter_review/vol7/iss2/11