Today at the archives Chris Marin comes in with Xaviera to collect some controversial labor rights buttons. When i asked her what she would do with them she said she would be wearing them. She said it in a matter of fact and half joking with that sparkle of mischief in her eyes. She is wearing the buttons just to be an antagonist and piss people off. I laughed and thought I hope to be a Chingona someday like her. She reminded me of Sandra Cisneros Chingona talk on u tube. I had the opportunity to sit in a room full of chingonas at the Hispanic Womens Conference last fall where we watched this video while Lynda Mazon Guitterez cheered us on, encouraging us all to find our voice and be Chingonas tambien. Long Viva las Chingonas. Then, as Chris walks out of the processing room she shouts across the room inviting me to our Chingona party for Xaviera next week. One of the most valuable lessons i take with me which i learned from processing the photos in the 300 box collection is that their were harsh conditions in the workplace, even deaths, but the people did not ever lose their enthusiasm, their ganas for life and pushing forward. We are fighters!
I come from a long line of Chingonas!!