Scales of Resistance

In commemoration of Indigenous Peoples' Day, this week's review considers how Indigenous women in Mexico and the US reinterpreted power differentials to create "scales of resistance" and further their transborder activism.

Scales of Resistance: Indigenous Women’s Transborder Activism

Blackwell, Maylei. Duke, 2023
392p bibl index, 9781478015352 $109.95, 9781478017967 $29.95, 9781478017967

Scales of Resistance book cover.

Blackwell (Univ. of California, Los Angeles) exceptionally interweaves powerful testimonios, meticulous research, and delicate participant observation informed by comprehensive use of literature to expertly delve into the crucial role of Indigenous women’s transborder activism in Mexico and the US. As such, she challenges readers’ current understandings of resistance. Drawing on more than two decades of research, Blackwell uncovers how Indigenous women’s activism can effectively reimagine scales of power, deftly navigating the complex interplay of class, race, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, and gender to reveal how these power structures impact individuals and groups in distinct ways. Thus, Indigenous women’s praxis is based on difference across geopolitical locations. Through these “geographies of difference,” Indigenous women gain their own power to challenge conditions of bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, and colonialism on a global and local scale (p. 194). This approach effectively blurs the boundaries between “here” and “there.” Overall, Scales of Resistance is an invaluable contribution to social science and humanities literature. Blackwell’s rigorous analyses and insightful observations provide a much-needed account of the vital roles of Indigenous women’s agency and activism in the Americas and in what will always be their forever home.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
: T. M. Montoya, Northern Arizona University
Interdisciplinary Subject: Latin American & Latina/o Studies, Native American Studies, Women’s & Gender Studies, Racial Justice
: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Choice Issue: Dec 2023

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