BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT: Poet/Activist Audre Lorde born today in 1934

TheOUTfront is proud to celebrate Black History Month by honoring Audre Lorde a self-described “black-lesbian feminist mother lover poet.”  A native New Yorker, she was active in the 1960s movements for civil rights, feminism, and against the Vietnam War as well as a critic of what she saw as feminism’s blindness to racial differences and fear of lesbians being involved. She earned a master’s degree in 1961 and published her first volume of poetry in 1968.

During that time she also married, had two children, and divorced in 1970. She and Frances Clayton, were together until 1989 when Gloria Joseph became her partner. Audre Lorde, published nine volumes of poetry and five books of prose, and was named New York State’s Poet Laureate in 1991 by Governor Mario Cuomo, a post she retained until her death at age 58 after a 14-year struggle with breast cancer.

Full Bio here

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, bearing her name, is a primary care center in New York City created specifically to serve the LGBTQ Communities.

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center

A few of Audre Lorde’s most vibrant and still relevant quotes:

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

“Your silence will not protect you.”

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

 “Without community, there is no liberation.”


And this poem

 “If you come as softly
As wind within the trees
You may hear what I hear
See what sorrow sees.

If you come as lightly
As threading dew
I will take you gladly
Nor ask more of you.

You may sit beside me
Silent as a breath
Only those who stay dead
Shall remember death.

And if you come I will be silent
Nor speak harsh words to you.
I will not ask you why, now.
Or how, or what you do.

We shall sit here, softly
Beneath two different years
And the rich earth between us
Shall drink our tears.”

One thought on “BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT: Poet/Activist Audre Lorde born today in 1934

  • February 18, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Thank you for covering all of the community. In your blog. This was a welcome article and tribute.


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