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Honoring Revolutionary Audre Lorde: The Poet Who Dared Us All To Be Powerful

Honoring Revolutionary Audre Lorde: The Poet Who Dared Us All To Be Powerful

An unconquerable force.

Audre Geraldine Lorde was a poet, novelist, feminist, womanist, and civil rights activist. A New York native, Lorde served as a librarian in NY public schools from 1961 and 1968 before releasing her first volume of poems, The First Cities (1968)Poets.org reports. She would go on to release several other works, including Cables to Rage (1970)New York Head Shot and Museum (1974), and Our Dead Behind Us (1986). Lorde’s work explored themes of racism, sexism, classism and homophobia. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she chronicled her journey in The Cancer Journals, which won several awards. Lorde was a professor of English at John Jay College of criminal justice and Hunter College. She was also New York’s poet laureate from 1991 until she died in 1992. 

In honor of Audre Lorde, here are ten quotes courtesy of Everyday Power to remind you of your inherent greatness.

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” 

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

“You cannot, you cannot use someone else’s fire. You can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe that you have it.”

“I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.” 

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” 

“Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.”

“I am my best work – a series of road maps, reports, recipes, doodles, and prayers from the front lines.”

“Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.”

Thank you, Ms. Lorde. You taught us how to be poweful! 

Photo Courtesy of ThoughtCo./@jasminprix - Twitter/Audre Lorde in Berlin - Youtube