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We Are Owed. is the debut poetry collection of Ariana Brown, exploring Black relationality in Mexican and Mexican American spaces. Through poems about the author's childhood in Texas and a trip to Mexico as an adult, Brown interrogates the accepted origin stories of Mexican identity. We Are Owed asks the reader to develop a Black consciousness by rejecting U.S., Chicano, and Mexican nationalism and confronting anti-Black erasure and empire-building. As Brown searches for other Black kin in the same spaces through which she moves, her experiences of Blackness are placed in conversation with the histories of formerly enslaved Africans in Texas and Mexico. Esteban Dorantes, Gaspar Yanga, and the author's Black family members and friends populate the book as a protective and guiding force, building the "we" evoked in the title and linking Brown to all other African-descended peoples living in what Saidiya Hartman calls "the afterlife of slavery."


Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from the South-side of San Antonio. She holds a BA in African Diaspora Studies and Mexican American Studies as well as an MFA in Poetry. Ariana is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets Prizes and a 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion. An alum of Brave New Voices, Ariana's work has been featured in PBS, Huffington Post, For Harriet, and Remezcla. Dubbed a part- time curandera, Ariana has performed at venues across the U.S. including the San Antonio Guadalupe Theater, Harvard University, Michigan State University, Tucson Poetry Festival, and the San Francisco Opera Theatre. When she is not onstage, she is probably eating an avocado, listening to Ozuna, or validating Black girl rage in all its miraculous forms.


  • Publisher: ‎Grieveland (July 29, 2021)
  • Language: ‎English
  • Paperback: ‎100 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎1735352764
  • ISBN-13: ‎9781735352763
  • Item Weight: ‎5.1 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎6 x 0.21 x 9 inches
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