The illustration you'll see on Google's homepage depicts a river that is broken up, with a portrait of Anzaldúa in the middle. The image is fitting: According to the Google Doodle blog, the American-Mexican woman spent her adolescent years in farms along the Texas-Mexico border where she encountered racism and dealt with the challenges of being "both native and foreigner." Anzaldúa's existence straddled the borders of multiple communities.
Anzaldúa focused her life's work on exploring these themes. After attending Pan American University and earning a master's degree in English and Education at the University of Texas, she taught in bilingual and special education programs. Then, she started writing, funneling her voice and experiences into bestselling works of feminist, queer, and cultural theory. According to the Poetry Foundation, Anzaldúa is best known for her 1987 book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza and subsequent essay, “La Prieta."
A University of Minnesota biography of Anzaldúa says she emphasized the struggles of existing in two worlds. She wrote using two variations of English and six variations of Spanish: "In many ways, by writing in 'Spanglish,' Anzaldúa creates a daunting task for the non-bilingual reader to decipher the full meaning of the text. However, there is irony in the mainstream reader’s feeling of frustration and irritation. These are the very emotions Anzaldúa has dealt with throughout her life, as she has struggled to communicate in a country where non-English speakers are shunned and punished."
In the current political climate — just weeks following the Trump administration's decision to repeal DACA amid increasing divisiveness over issues of racial justice — Anzaldúa's work is newly relevant. Today, Google honors her legacy. See the world through her eyes by reading about what it's like "To Live In The Borderlands."