Minerva Mirabal. All day I’ve been reading about this woman/writing a song about her. (This hasn’t been easy, as almost everything about her is in Spanish, and my Spanish literacy skills are limited, to put it kindly.) She and two of her sisters were assassinated by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo; they were members of a Dominican resistance group and apparently a source of hope and strength for the island’s people.
Minerva is frequently portrayed as a revolutionary hero. But while I admire her deeply, I don’t love that she died for the cause. She was a martyr, influenced greatly by other dead revolutionaries from elsewhere in the Caribbean and Latin America, and she believed that it was her duty to die for the revolution. Why didn’t anyone tell her that she could live for it, instead? What if her death was a prophecy that fulfilled itself? What if she’d believed she would survive? Maybe answering that question would get at the real lesson of her life, as opposed to the hagiographic treatment that she typically gets.