Hija De Mi Madre is the literary work and culmination of Carmen’s personal experiences and undergraduate research that illustrates her identity as an African Latina. It is a combination of memoirs, poems and research material that explain the effects of race on identity from an academic standpoint while sharing her own life as a living example.

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From Ynanna: The book is divided into three parts: African, Latina, and Woman. In the first section, the focus is on the beginning of my life; I consider Africa to also be the beginning of my ancestral story. I explain the destruction of African hair in the United States, the significance of Black Feminism and its development and my struggles with my African roots. In the Latina section, I go into detail about what is the Afro-Latina identity and how it is formulated. This section contains stories from my junior high and high school life, as well as how my self-hatred evolved.  The final section, Woman, is where my self-healing journey begins with embracing my body as female, hitting rockbottom and finding compassion for myself on my way to self-love.

Part 1: Africana

  • Origins of the Lye: The Transformation and Politics of African Hair
  • Conversations between African American & Latina Women
  • Black Feminism: Historical Context & Definition
  • & more!

Part 2: Latina

  • From the Pages of My Memory; Learning How to Dance
  • LatiNegras
  • & more!

Part 3: Mujer

  • This Blood is Sacred: Women and Menstruation Cycle Beliefs
  • Women and Religion
  • From Self-Hate to Self-Love: The Slut Complex
  • & more!


I had the wonderful opportunity of watching Carmen (Ynanna) speak at two different events that have highly impacted me.  The first event was in 2011 at the 21st Annual National Latino Collegiate Conference where she discussed her book, Hija de mi Madre and her experiences as an Afro-Latina.  Her presentation was relevant, powerful and moving.  It was so profound in its discussion of identity, strength, and resilience that it inspired me to cut my perm out of my hair and go natural that same summer.  The next time was at the Se Fue La Luz event where she had the audience reflect on their past experiences with winter.  She engaged the group in a rich, intimate discussion while weaving in poignant concepts and themes.

I took your storytelling workshop over the summer. The prompts allowed me to dig deep into the core of who I am and reclaim my narrative on my own terms. You also created a safe space in which we could all share our journeys and connect as women of color. I left your workshop inspired to make writing a daily practice of mine that has greatly helped me in my healing journey. A practice which I have passed along to my students as they begin to [identify] the events that shape who they are. Thank you for the work that you do!

I read your book before. I was able to relate to being Dominican. It’s cause I am of fair complexion but my sister looks White European. I was always treated differently; I wanted to be white. Also, my mental health has always been off and in our culture, a kid with bipolar disorder, PTSD and ADHD es un muchacho que jode. Your book taught me that our race is proud but ashamed. Proud to be an independent country ashamed of its African roots. Fearful of anything ‘abnormal’. Your book was the best 20 bucks I’ve spent.

Product Details

Paperback: 178 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 25, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1453832963
ISBN-13: 978-1453832967
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,894,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#21558 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National

One Thought on “Hija De Mi Madre”

  • Hi Carmen,

    I brought a group of students to the FPA Conference in March that you presented at…and they loved you! I was wondering if your “I Loved You Once” book was available for purchase? I was thinking it would make a nice graduation gift for some of them.

    Let me know.


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