maylei blackwell

When I began this research in 1991 I embarked on a quest to turn up the volume on the stories of gender and sexuality that have been dubbed out of the Chicano historical record. Through this journey I found that being an oral historian is like being a DJ. As one digs through the old crates of records (historical archives) to find missing stories, the songs (narrative grooves, if you will) must be selected and their elements remixed to produce new meanings. Oral historians spin the historical record by sampling new voices and cutting and mixing the established soundscape to allow listeners to hear something different, even in grooves they thought they knew.
—  Maylei Blackwell | ¡Chicana Power!: Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement | 2011 

One cannot build a future without a sense of the past. Movements require history because history provides an explanation for oppression. And it impels action by offering a vision of transformative future. Both the nature of that vision and the strategies for achieving it are rooted in historical understanding

We cannot understand our feminist futures without a better understanding of the multiple origins of our feminist past.

—  Maylei Blackwell, “¡Chicana Feminism!”

“My mom raised me in this idea of generations […] we are here walking on the earth because the generations before us dreamt us into being. Right. They dreamt us into the present moment that we have now. And that moment is a gift and we all have work to do in this moment. But we are part of a longer dream. Right. And the dreams that we dream will produce a different future.”

 —- Maylei Blackwell

During her lecture: “Turning the Generations: Chicana Feminisms, Intersectionality and Social Justice”