Renowned Author Cisneros Speaks to DePaul Students

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

By: Carmen Lopez

Hope filled the room as author Sandra Cisneros addressed the crowd during the “My Chicago” breakfast held on Friday, June 13th at DePaul University prior to DePaul’s graduation ceremony. Cisneros gave the women attending the “My Chicago” breakfast, a character to relate to in her books. It was a conversation similar to one a person would have with their mother or grandmother. Cisneros was the Commencement Keynote Speaker and the recipient of an honorary degree from DePaul University’s School of New Learning on Sunday, June 15th.

“You still live in the town, so the stories still live inside you,” Cisneros said about the connection her readers have with the characters in her stories. Cisneros resided in Chicago during her childhood, so the characters in her stories bring to life the spirit of what it means to be a Chicagoan. The sentiment from the crowd fueled Cisneros and her words. In her “My Chicago” presentation, Cisneros speaks about her family and the obstacles they had to overcome. In her newest collection, she brings to life her mother’s spirit.

“I became a writer thanks to a mother who was unhappy being a mother. She was a prisoner of war mother hanging from the bars of her cell all her life,” Cisneros said. An overwhelming emotion filled the room as members of the audience began to resonate with Cisneros and her mother. “We went to Maxwell Street like other families went to church,” she said about her family’s weekly ritual of visiting the Maxwell Street market. To conclude her address, Cisneros encouraged the audience to let go of their fear that is blocking them from documenting their thoughts.

“When we have ‘susto’ we don’t have clarity,” she said. “Brown is the new black,” said Cisneros about the gentrification that is occurring in urban Latino neighborhoods. Cisneros is currently living in San Antonio, but expressed her concern with the changes gentrification is bringing her community. “We are invisible,” she said. “Columbus’ are discovering our neighborhoods,” Cisneros added.

Comments are closed.