Read Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda Free Online

Ebook Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda read! Book Title: Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina
The author of the book: Raquel Cepeda
Edition: Atria Books
Date of issue: February 4th 2014
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 832 KB
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Loaded: 2356 times
Reader ratings: 3.5
ISBN: 1451635877
ISBN 13: 9781451635874
Language: English

Read full description of the books:

In 2009, when Raquel Cepeda almost lost her estranged father to heart disease, she was terrified she’d never know the truth about her ancestry. Every time she looked in the mirror, Cepeda saw a mystery—a tapestry of races and ethnicities that came together in an ambiguous mix. With time running out, she decided to embark on an archaeological dig of sorts by using the science of ancestral DNA testing to excavate everything she could about her genetic history.

Digging through memories long buried, she embarks upon a journey not only into her ancestry but also into her own history. Born in Harlem to Dominican parents, she was sent to live with her maternal grandparents in the Paraíso (Paradise) district in Santo Domingo while still a baby. It proved to be an idyllic reprieve in her otherwise fraught childhood. Paraíso came to mean family, home, belonging. When Cepeda returned to the US, she discovered her family constellation had changed. Her mother had a new, abusive boyfriend, who relocated the family to San Francisco. When that relationship fell apart, Cepeda found herself back in New York City with her father and European stepmother: attending tennis lessons and Catholic schools; fighting vicious battles wih her father, who discouraged her from expressing the Dominican part of her hyphenated identity; and immersed in the ’80s hip-hop culture of uptown Manhattan. It was in these streets, through the prism of hip-hop and the sometimes loving embrace of her community, that Cepeda constructed her own identity.

Years later, when Cepeda had become a successful journalist and documentary filmmaker, the strands of her DNA would take her further, across the globe and into history. Who were her ancestors? How did they—and she—become Latina? Her journey, as the most unforgettable ones often do, would lead her to places she hadn’t expected to go. With a vibrant lyrical prose and fierce honesty, Cepeda parses concepts of race, identity, and ancestral DNA among Latinos by using her own Dominican-American story as one example, and in the process arrives at some sort of peace with her father.

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Read information about the author

Ebook Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina read Online! Born in Harlem to Dominican parents, award-winning journalist, podcaster, and documentary filmmaker Raquel Cepeda is the author of Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina. Equal parts memoir about Cepeda’s coming of age in New York City and Santo Domingo, and detective story chronicling her year-long journey to discover the truth about her ancestry, the book also looks at what it means to be Latina today. Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, released the book on March 5, 2013. The paperback was released on February 4, 2014: the companion curriculum, developed and written by Karen Robinson, a senior education officer at the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights’ Speak Truth to Power initiative, is now available for free download at

Cepeda is co-host of a Our National Conversations About Conversations About Race, or simply, ABOUT RACE, with authors Baratunde Thurston and Tanner Colby, and is distributed by Panoply/Slate. For more information, visit

Cepeda is currently in production on Some Girls, a documentary focusing on a group of troubled teenage girls in a suicide prevention program who are transformed through an exploration of their roots via the use of ancestral DNA testing.

Cepeda directed and produced the NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity In Communications) Vision nominated film Bling: A Planet Rock, a feature length documentary about American hip-hop culture’s obsession with diamonds and all of its social trappings, and how the infatuation with “blinging” became intertwined in Sierra Leone’s decade long conflict. The film was co-produced by VH1/MTV Networks and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

For almost two decades, Cepeda’s writings have been widely anthologized and her byline has been featured in media outlets including People, the Associated Press, The Village Voice, MTV News,, and many others. She’s contributed to WNYC, CNN and CNN’s Inside the Middle East as a freelance reporter. Cepeda edited the critically acclaimed anthology And It Don’t Stop: The Best Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years, winner of the PEN/Beyond Margins and Latino Book Award. As the former editor in chief of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld, Cepeda was responsible for the magazine’s overhaul in September 2001, winning a Folio Award for best re-design and receiving accolades for her global take on urban culture.

Cepeda, named one of El Diario|La Prensa’s Distinguished Women of 2013, sits on the board of City Lore and the Style Wars Restoration Project. She’s appeared on Melissa Harris-Perry, Huffington Post Live, Al Jazeera English, CNN, and other outlets talking about genetic genealogy, Latino-American identity, immigration, hip-hop culture, and mental health issues amongst Latina-American teenagers.

She lives with her husband, a writer and television producer, daughter, and son, in her beloved New York City.

To read more, visit

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