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It would be hard to deny that being a young Latina is rife with experiences of systemic racism as well as covert and overt sexism. This was no less true in the 1960s and ‘70s. Through two different avenues, authors Donna Miscolta and Cecilia Aragon share their works on the experience of growing up Latina in 1960s America.
Miscolta and Aragon join us for a virtual conversation about the themes and truths that bring their two disparate narratives together. In Miscolta’s Living Color, she presents Angie Rubio, a Mexican-American girl as she journeys through life from kindergarten through high school. We trace Angie Rubio’s development as a writer as she navigates school, and ultimately becomes a shy, funny girl. And while Miscolta’s book is fiction, Aragon’s book is a memoir which captures her own story, of overcoming her fear to become the first Latina pilot on the US aerobatic team. In Flying Free, Aragon shares her life growing up in a small midwestern town during the 1960s, the daughter of a Chilean father and a Filipina mother who was targeted by bullies and dismissed by many of her teachers. Miscolta and Aragon invite us to consider at what point society seeds self-effacement into the body of a young brown girl, and by what means can that shame be uprooted.
Donna Miscolta is an author. She is the author of the story collection Hola and Goodbye and the novel When the de la Cruz Famly Danced. Recent essays appear in pif, Los Angeles Review, and the anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19.
Cecilia Aragon is a Seattle author, pilot, and the first Latina full professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington. She’s worked with Nobel Prize winners, taught astronauts to fly, and created musical simulations of the universe with rock stars.