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Comrade, Bliss Ain't Playing - LIB 100/201 APPROVED!

Date and Time

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.


  • Kirkhof Center » RM 2250 - Grand River Room


Students who attend Josefina Baez’s presentation/performance will learn more about race and identity. Baez embraces her blackness and her Dominican heritage, something referred to as a "double-consciousness." In addition to embracing her black and Dominican identities, she must also acknowledge her identities of being an immigrant and trans-migrant, themes common in her writing and performances. When a Dominican migrates to the United States, they are then neither considered fully Dominican or American. The individual is then considered to only partially belong to both cultures, creating an "in-betweenness." By embracing and expressing her many identities and using her performances to share them, Baez is resisting America's attempt to marginalize her experience. Despite living in New York City, a racially and culturally diverse setting, Baez and other immigrants still feel the struggle every day of not being accepted. Given the current discussions of race and identity in our country, not to mention immigration, it is important for students to be aware of the challenges and problems people of color, especially immigrants face.

Baez’s presentation deals with issues of migration and absorption of new cultures. Even her use of combining English and Spanish is an example of her being in-between two cultures. As Baez retells her experience of learning English, she moves her mouth and body in unique ways, while her feet remain still. This shows how American society is trying to force her to assimilate into their culture and her resistance to doing so. Baez draws heavily from her own experiences as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. Being a Dominican immigrant, Baez possesses multiple identities. Her identity is defined as always being in motion. She is constantly moving between cultures or physically between two countries. This motion is expressed through her body movement as she is performing.


Area and Global Studies Department at or 616.331.8110



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