“Corporeal Activism in Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X: Towards a Self-Appropriation of US Afro-Latinas’ Bodies”

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12795/REN.2021.i25.01

Keywords:

Afro-Latina; racism; gender; body; slam poetry; sexual desire; embodied discourse; self-representation

Abstract

Scholars have typically studied Chicanas/Latinas in the US and African American women separately. However, this paper explores both the cultural appropriation of Afro-Latinas’ bodies in the US and the strategies they employed to reclaim their bodies and agencies through Elizabeth Acevedo’s novel, The Poet X. Despite the fact that the teenager protagonist of the novel considers herself “morenita,” rather than black due to her Dominican background; her body is simultaneously and paradoxically hyper-sexualized by racist discourses, and called to chastity by the patriarchal Catholic doctrine presiding over her Dominican community. Nevertheless, I argue that the protagonist makes her body a site of activism as she re-appropriates the agency over her body by moving from a self-imposed invisibility and silence in order to try to avoid the hyper-sexualization of her incipient curves, to a non-objectified visible position through her sexual desire, self-representative embodied narrative, and performance of her slam poetry.

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Published

2021-03-05

How to Cite

Martín Martínez, M. “‘Corporeal Activism in Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X: Towards a Self-Appropriation of US Afro-Latinas’ Bodies’”. Revista De Estudios Norteamericanos, vol. 25, Mar. 2021, doi:10.12795/REN.2021.i25.01.

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Articles
Received 2020-06-18
Accepted 2021-01-21
Published 2021-03-05
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