Audre Lorde was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. Lorde was born in New York City to West Indian immigrant parents. In her work, Lorde would discuss and mention multiple social injustices such as sexism, racism and homophobia. “Of her poetic beginnings Lorde commented in Black Women Writers: ‘I used to speak in poetry. I would read poems, and I would memorize them. People would say, well what do you think, Audre. What happened to you yesterday? And I would recite a poem and somewhere in that poem would be a line or a feeling I would be sharing. In other words, I literally communicated through poetry. And when I couldn’t find the poems to express the things I was feeling, that’s what started me writing poetry, and that was when I was twelve or thirteen.’” Lorde demonstrated authentic intelligence and creativity, which then led to the creation of her work and activism. “I have a duty,” Lorde once stated, “to speak the truth as I see it and to share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigating pain.” Lorde is an essential figure in black literature and activism, and is now remembered as an iconic black, lesbian, artist. You can read Audre Lorde’s biography titled Warrior Poet (2006), written by Alexis De Veaux.
“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.”