Audre Lorde Quotes

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Audre Lorde Quotes

Audre Lorde Quotes…
Audre Lorde (Audrey Geraldine Lorde; born February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was an African-American writer, radical feminist, professor, and civil rights activist. She was a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” who “dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.”

As a poet, she is well known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. As a spoken word artist, her delivery has been called powerful, melodic, and intense by the Poetry Foundation.Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, lesbianism, illness and disability, and the exploration of black female identity

Audre Lorde Quotes

“Your silence will not protect you.”

 

“Revolution is not a one time event.”

 

“Without community, there is no liberation.”

 

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

 

“Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.”

 

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”

Audre Lorde Quotes

“Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought.”

 

“There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

 

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”

 

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

“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.”

 

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

“and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive”

 

“My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences.”

 

“I want to live the rest of my life, however long or short, with as much sweetness as I can decently manage, loving all the people I love, and doing as much as I can of the work I still have to do. I am going to write fire until it comes out of my ears, my eyes, my noseholes–everywhere. Until it’s every breath I breathe. I’m going to go out like a fucking meteor!”

 

“Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.”

 

“You do not have to be me in order for us to fight alongside each other. I do not have to be you to recognize that our wars are the same. What we must do is commit ourselves to some future that can include each other and to work toward that future with the particular strengths of our individual identities. And in order for us to do this, we must allow each other our differences at the same time as we recognize our sameness.”

 

“For 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. Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.”

 

“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.”

I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, “disappeared” or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.

Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.

And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”

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