You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation
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About the Author
Now, Arce has come out with another volume that examines the costs of that success. In a careful, forcefully argued polemic, she picks apart the myth of American assimilation. No matter how much she effaced her Mexican background, Arce argues, she still didn't have a White person's privileges . --Bloomberg
This is an important book that challenges the idea of American exceptionalism with equal parts passion, fury, intimacy, and ignored history. Arce celebrates the Mexican American immigrant experience in all its vibrancy and nuance while fearlessly naming the pain inflicted by American racism, ethnocentrism, and xenophobia. An essential read to better understand America and its immigrant stories."
--Kirkus, starred review
--BookPage, 2022 Preview: Most Anticipated Nonfiction I'm so glad Arce wrote about this important topic, and how we should resist the insidious ways colonialism affects the world.
--Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, The Meteor A necessary counterpoint to the narrative of the American dream. --Library Journal "Examines the damage caused by America's push for assimilation, breaking down the myth that newcomers must abandon their culture to achieve a sense of belonging." --ELLE In this unflinching book, Julissa Arce guts the idea that to live in America means immigrants must abandon their own histories, cultures and languages and assimilate to dominant norms. --Ms. Magazine
You should read You Sound Like a White Girl by Julissa Arce...In this phenomenal book, Arce argues against pressures for Latine people and other BIPOC to assimilate into white culture. --BookRiot
A narrative that questions and dismantles the idea that assimilation will lead to belonging, success, and acceptance in America for citizens of color (and specifically immigrants) --The Millions By centering Latinx history and culture, memoirist and cultural critic Julissa Arce boldly challenges narrow notions of American identity. --Kelly Blewett, BookPage Rather than attempt to become unaccented, English-speaking Americans, Arce argues, Latinx immigrants should endeavor to maintain their language, culture, food, and other traditions on U.S. soil. --Bustle, The Most Anticipated Books of March 2022 "Arce unapologetically challenges the age-old notion that America is stronger when it's newest immigrants relinquish their culture, language and identity by merging to whiteness. This book spares no one and nothing in uncovering the cultural and societal forces that convince many young people longing for acceptance in America that their skin is too dark to be beautiful, their English too accented and their customs too ethnic to be truly American. Ultimately, You Sound Like A White Girl is a powerful call for and celebration of self-acceptance. If you could take Rodolfo Gonzales epic poem 'I Am Joaquin' and explain it through compelling, personal narrative in twenty-first century America, You Sound Like A White Girl would be it."
-- Joaquin Castro
Illuminating. You Sound Like a White Girl debunks age-old historical myths and instead offers us forgotten truths that will help us make sense of our country today. You will not think the same after reading this book.
-- Reyna Grande, award-winning author of The Distance Between Us
"A love letter to our people--full of fury and passion. You Sound Like a White Girl tells us about who we are, where we came from, and most importantly, helps us imagine a future where we can live in all our beauty and power."
-- José Olivarez, award-winning poet and author of Citizen Illegal "I have been waiting for this book all my life. Julissa Arce brilliantly dismantles the idea that we must reject our languages, our histories, and the teachings of our elders to fit into a flawed society. Arce asks us to draw on our ancestors' wisdom as well as our own experiences to rebuild this society on the foundations of self-respect, mutuality, and care for others. She convincingly demonstrates that a nation humbled by the global pandemic can be reinvigorated by the courage and compassion of immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean."
-- Paul Ortiz, award-winning author of An African American and Latinx History of the United States To so many immigrants throughout history, including many in my own Mexican American community, assimilation has meant repressing or abandoning their languages and cultures to fit in. In You Sound Like a White Girl, Julissa Arce challenges that notion with a clear eye and exacting rebuke, urging us to recognize and cherish the traditions and cultures that immigrants have contributed to our nation. -- Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary