A lyrical but trenchant foreword by Edwidge Danticat and succinct author introductions by Bell director of Albuquerque's Center for Economic Justice provide historical and personal contexts for the narratives, or "istwa" a Creole word "meaning both story and history" , that follow. Many of the women address the random arrests, sadistic torture, savage beatings and violent sexual abuse inflicted upon them by the state and by a sexist social structure. Taken collectively, the women interviewed largely between and , during Haiti's brief period with a popularly elected government tell the same story—"survival, resistance, and occasional triumph by women with little formal power.
One has been a minister of the Status and Rights of Women; another was given away as a child slave. There's also a market woman, a labor organizer and a nurse; a woman with graduate degrees, women who have lived abroad and women who have never left their villages. They are joined by their resistance to oppression. For some, mere survival is an act of resistance.
Others resist through poetry, journalism, dance or painting. Some are even involved in political activism, women's advocacy and reestablishing economic and political structures. This is painful reading; it shows much suffering but also much remarkable transcendence. Bell's book vocalizes this, but its point is not merely archival. Beverly Bell.
Walking on Fire: Haitian Women's Stories of Survival and Resistance
Yet, even as crisis after crisis shook us to the ground, they also inspired many to rise up and take to the streets and other venues of popular power. Donald Trump as president awakened millions, sparked new cross-sectoral coalitions, and galvanized Members of the international Now Gustavo Castro Soto may also be framed as the murderer of his long-time friend.
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