What happens when cultural stories are misrepresented and the authentic voices of those trying to tell their stories are ignored? You get American Dirt. But beyond that, this conversation is more about what we can do next. How we can move forward in more empowering ways to the benefit of all.
This week, in this special bonus episode, I’m excited to share the collaboration project!
Denise Soler Cox, host of the Self-ish Latina Podcast and co-founder of Project Eñye, plus Rita Bautista, host of the Empowerment and All That Podcast and Nicole Hernandez of The Daring Kind Podcast, joined forces to bring this conversation to the forefront. They invited Linda Garcia, Brenda Gonzales and myself to contribute to the conversation and share our perspectives on this controversy.
For me, this was timely, as I am in the process of beginning to write my own book. In fact, I recently was selected as a scholarship winner for the Hay House Diverse Wisdom Initiative Program, which is actively working to support and nurture writers of color.
So this issue is very close to home for me because the publishing industry has taken note. In fact, Hay House is in its second round of this initiative now, and it gives me hope.
To me, this issue of diversity, and representation is very important on many levels. And I think these deep-dive conversations are necessary so that we can move the needle in the right direction.
This podcast was recorded a few weeks ago, before the craziness of COVID-19, and we had hoped to release this episode last week, but waited. We felt it was ok now because we know people are in need of some positivity, reflection, and direction to go somewhere from here.
In this episode, we talk about:
● Linda (Luz Warrior) discusses what relationships were dampened by this book and how she used her work in journalism to investigate and evaluate the novel.
● Brenda touches on the ways American Dirt is a wake-up call for publishers, book lovers, and allies.
● Rosalia dives into the misrepresented narrative of Latinx culture and exaggerated characters within the novel.
● Rita shares a personal story about how American Dirt had an effect on her own life and speaks on what the controversy will do for Jeanine as an artist.
● As a group we discuss our own Latinidad and feelings of “enoughness” within the Latinx community.
● Finally, Denise Soler Cox gives you a sneak peek into her next film and how American Dirt raises questions and fears for her during the process.
Follow these amazing women on their podcasts here: