Woman Crush(ing the Patriarchy) Wednesday: Omaris Zunilda Zamora

Woman Crush(ing the Patriarchy) Wednesday: Omaris Zunilda Zamora

Black and Latina/Chicana feminisms are life-affirming for countless women of color, but in both movements, AfroLatinas are left at the periphery, if acknowledged at all. This week’s #WCW Omaris Zunilda Zamora wants to change that.

The Chicago-born, New York-livin’ dominicana is a literary scholar who looks to AfroLatina knowledge producers to help bridge the gap between theory and practice. When she’s not teaching at Brooklyn College or completing her Ph.D. in Afro-Latino Cultural & Literary Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Zamora is bringing her AfroLatina feminism to the interwebs.

Ahead, learn how this mujer arrived at her AfroLatina feminist thought and how she uses it to crush the anti-Black, xenophobic, classist patriarchy.

MORE: Woman Crush(ing the Patriarchy) Wednesday: Arianna Lint

Can you tell our readers a little more about your work as a scholar?

As an AfroLatina and Dominican literary scholar, my work looks to bridge the gap between theory and practice by first acknowledging AfroLatina women as knowledge producers. Our knowledge is informed through our bodies and the relationships that we have with ourselves and other women in our communities. The idea is that our bodies as Black women take up space in a very particular way. Furthermore, I look at the narratives and stories by transnational Dominican women to further understand how the African diaspora can expand how we think about blackness, gender and sexuality.

Your master’s thesis centered on AfroLatina feminism, noting that it is left out of both Black and Latina/Chicana feminisms. 

When we look at the cannon of Black feminism and Latina/Chicana feminism, neither of these really addresses AfroLatinas. Black feminism is predominantly centered on the experiences of African-American women, and Latina/Chicana feminism does not address the experiences of AfroLatina or racially Black Latina women. However, in my own experiences I have found that although we could not find ourselves in these spaces, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our own way of thinking and being. I asked myself: How and where do we locate the experiences of AfroLatina women? What lies at the crux of our experiences as women who have to always maintain a fluid identity in order to survive and thrive in different spaces? That’s where my work comes in.

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