Through a slide presentation of the town before its destruction in the late 1960s, readings from Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon, and oral history interviews, Díaz Björkquist portrays the lives of girls and women of Morenci in their own voices. It is a historically accurate picture of life for Mexican Americans in a segregated copper mining town from the 1920s to the late 1960s. This inspirational presentation pays tribute to four generations of Chicanas who, in spite of discrimination, persevered and showed that “si se puede” (it can be done). Morenci Chicanas were the “glue” that kept the family unit together with their unique cultural spirit, showing courage and strength.
Elena Díaz Björkquist is a writer, historian, and artist from Tucson, Arizona. She writes about Morenci where she was born. Elena is the author of two books, Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon and co-editor of Sowing the Seeds, una cosecha de recuerdosand Our Spirit, Our Reality; celebrating our Stories. She is a scholar and research affiliate with SIROW at the University of Arizona. Elena is the recipient of the 2012 Arizona Humanities Dan Shilling Public Humanities Scholar Award and the Arizona Commission on the Arts Bill Desmond Writing Award. Her personal website is: https://elenadiazbjorkquist.wordpress.com.