We sat down with San Rafael’s Deborah Santana to discuss All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom, a new anthology centering on experiences of women of color published, edited and with a foreword by the author.
MM: What is the main message of your foreword?
DS: The topic of my foreword is to introduce the 69 voices of the women of color whose essays are in the anthology. In 2005 I published my memoir Space Between the Stars: My Journey to an Open Heart, in which I shared my personal story of growing up biracial and coming of age in the 1960s. All the Women in My Family Sing is an extension of my story as told through the women whose essays bravely tell of personal struggles around immigration, identity, romance, selfworth and creativity.
MM: How does it feel to give these voices a platform?
DS: At this momentous time in our world, our nation and our collective consciousness, it is important to begin to look much more intensely at what we have in common as human beings rather than what separates us. I am honored to bring the stories of women of color to the forefront, asking people who are not of color to read them so that they may understand the privilege they have lived with and the ways others have been held back or oppressed.
MM: How do you view the power of women’s voices/stories in our current climate?
DS: Since the Women’s March in January 2017, there has been a growing sense of solidarity among women who refuse to be silenced. What began as a protest of women from every racial and socioeconomic background has evolved into a social and political movement. We have seen arguably some of the most prominent, influential men in television and Hollywood be ejected from the industry once women began to bravely step forward to share their horror stories of sexual assault and abuse. There is a growing need to illuminate the diversity and complexity of women’s experiences in the world.