By Ana Castillo
Black Dove: Mamá, Mi'jo, and Me looks at what it skill to be a unmarried, brown, feminist guardian in an international of mass incarceration, racial profiling, and police brutality. via startling humor and love, Castillo weaves intergenerational tales touring from Mexico urban to Chicago. And in doing so, she narrates a few of America's so much heated political debates and pressing social injustices during the oft-neglected lens of motherhood and family.
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Extra info for Black Dove: Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me
She said “encantada,” which in English means “enchanted” and which could not have been what she felt eight hours a day, the same foot pushing an industrial Singer pedal, developing arthritis, fingers pricked to the point of numbness, getting carpal tunnel syndrome as the years wore on, earnestly working toward each hour’s quota. It was my tía Flora who was enchanted. True, her whole life was devoid of privilege. She had scarcely known her mother, who died when she was but a small child. Her father eked out a living selling used books on the street, and providing for his children was impossible.
Her husband had slammed the door behind him. By the time he got downstairs and went outside, however, if it wasn’t for her whistle that gave him just enough warning to get out of the way, the busted television she dropped from the second floor window would have landed right on his head. That wasn’t the story I wanted to share about my live-wire tía Flora, although that one was a good one, too. We were friends, confidantes, as I have already mentioned, mostly in the way traditional married women with children had friends—in the kitchen while preparing meals, quick chats on the phone between chores, at family gatherings when others’ ears were not close enough to pick up private anecdotes.
That was the last time we saw him, and by the end of summer, he was dead. If the double “rock” in Mamá’s name (and the “castle” at the end through marriage) had dubbed her the stoic sister, the flower in Flora’s name perfumed her urban life and warded off the sadness of trying times. And those had been many in my tía’s life, multiplied with the years as her children grew up far from México in Chicago’s poverty. So it was that night that my tía and I, riding a city bus, jumped off suddenly in a plaza where trios and duos of musicians gathered for hire, and we brought a late-night serenade to Mamá and family at our hotel.
Black Dove: Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me by Ana Castillo