Sister outsider | Audre Lorde

What an immense woman Audre Lorde was. An out lesbian at a time when lesbians were viewed with suspicion by feminists and Black activists alike; a radical feminist at a time when the women’s movement was looking for equality rather than the end of patriarchy; a powerful voice for Black women when they were sidelined by both mainstream feminism and anti-racist movements.

Lorde talks often of survival skills – emotional, spiritual and literal – as a daily reality in the teeth of a society where Black lives, particularly women’s, are crushed and expendable. But also of joy, connection, expanding possibilities, becoming real, self-liberation, transformative anger, differences as means to greater knowledge and power rather than division. She was all about intersectionality before that clunky term was even thought of. She burns with fury but her message is deeply loving. A poet and academic, but she writes with pure clarity and honesty, firmly grounded in the real world and a full brave life. You can open this anywhere and find a beautifully turned phrase, a deep truism, a resonating call to action, ageless wisdom. Her courage and strength shines through her writing, and the challenges she lays down are as urgent now as they were then. A great mind, a huge heart, a true radical, a true inspiration. Your silence will not protect you.