For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts: A Love Letter to Women of Color

Seal. Sept. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9781541674875. $28. SOC SCI
As a young girl in her native Nicaragua, Rodriguez, founder of the Instagram community Latina Rebels, had her first encounter with toxic practices such as voluntourism: tourists disguised as well-intentioned volunteers. Voluntourism tends to be religious-leaning and makes broad promises of facilitating community betterment—all of which is usually far from the reality, Rodriguez writes. American voluntourists in Nicaragua were the author’s first glimpse of American racism and white privilege, which she further experienced after her family moved to Miami. Over the years, she faced racism, classism, and sexism while traveling throughout the Southeast United States—all the while grappling with and dismantling her pre-conceived notions of American success. Her life journey is one in which she addresses her family's generational trauma, and learns how to openly express self-love. In a word, Rodriguez's life has been challenging, which is why, she says, she wrote this powerful book: to connect to other BIPOC women and girls who understand her background and to show those readers that they are seen and important.
VERDICT Highly recommended for readers with an interest in social issues impacting Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; immigrant stories; and sociology.
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