WHO SHE IS: Audre Lorde is a Black lesbian feminist poet, essayist and novelist. She was born on February 18, 1924 in Harlem and died on November 17, 1992. Of Caribbean descent, her parents were immigrants from Granada.
WHAT SHE HAS ACCOMPLISHED: She wrote poetry from a young age and continued to do so throughout her life. Her first book of poems was published in 1968, after which she taught writing at New York City Colleges and courses on racism at Lehman College and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her precise and poetic reflections, especially regarding women writers, are highly informed by political, artistic and cultural critique, leading some to call her the “Warrior Poet.” She was a cofounder of The Kitchen Table-Women of Color Press and an editor of the lesbian journal Chrysalis. Her work is included widely in women and gender studies programmes around the world.
The Audre Lorde project, a New York City center for gender variant people of color, is named after her.
WHY WE LOVE HER: She is such a femininspiration. See for yourself.
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
“For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.”
“The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us-the poet-whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary awareness and demand, the implementation of that freedom.”
“For within structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were meant to kneel to thought as we were meant to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets. And there are no new pains. We have felt them all already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They lie in our dreams, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom.”
— Audre Lorde, Woman We Admire.
Happy Pride Month!