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Top 300 Audre Lorde Quotes (2022 Update)
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Audre Lorde Quote: “I do not think about my death as being imminent, but I live my days against a background noise of mortality and constant uncertainty. Learning not to crumple before these uncertainties fuels my resolve to print myself upon the texture of each day fully rather than forever.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I do not wish my anger and pain and fear about cancer to fossilize into yet another silence, nor to rob me of whatever strength can lie at the core of this experience, openly acknowledged and examined... imposed silence about any area of our lives is a tool for separation and powerlessness.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “What gets me about the United States is that it pretends to be honest and therefore has so little room to move toward hope.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic. Only then does the necessity for interdependency become unthreatening. Only within that interdependency of different strengths, acknowledged and equal, can the power to seek new ways of being in the world generate, as well as the courage and sustenance to act where there are no charters.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “In discussions around the hiring and firing of Black faculty at universities, the charge is frequently heard that Black women are more easily hired than are Black men.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “We do not have to romanticize our past in order to be aware of how it seeds our present.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I am listening in that fine space between desire and always the grave stillness before choice.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Each of us struggles daily with the pressures of conformity and the loneliness of difference from which those choices seem to offer escape.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “In a society where the good is defined in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, there must always be some group of people who, through systematised oppression, can be made to feel surplus, to occupy the space of the dehumanised inferior.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I have always wanted to be both man and woman... to share valleys and mountains upon my body the way the earth does in hills and peaks. I would like to enter a woman the way any man can, and be entered – to leave and to be left – to be hot and hard and soft all at the same time in the cause of our loving.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Recognizing the power of the erotic within our lives can give us the energy to pursue genuine change within our world, rather than merely settling for a shift of characters in the same weary drama. For not only do we touch our most profoundly creative source, but we do that which is female and self-affirming in the face of a racist, patriarchal, and anti-erotic society.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “But as Adrienne Rich pointed out in a recent talk, white feminists have educated themselves about such an enormous amount over the past ten years, how come you haven’t also educated yourselves about Black women and the differences between us – white and Black – when it is key to our survival as a movement?”
Audre Lorde Quote: “We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “The tensions created inside me by the contradictions is another source of energy and learning. I have always known I learn my most lasting lessons about difference by closely attending the ways in which the differences inside me lie down together.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Any world which did not have a place for me loving women was not a world in which I wanted to live, nor one which I could fight for.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Black men are not so passive that they must have Black women speak for them. Even my fourteen-year-old son knows that. Black men themselves must examine and articulate their own desires and positions and stand by the conclusions thereof. No point is served by a Black male professional who merely whines at the absence of his viewpoint in Black women’s work. Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “What happens when you narrow your definition to what is convenient, or what is fashionable, or what is expected, is dishonesty by silence.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “When there is no connection at all between people, then anger is a way of bringing them closer together, of making contact. But when there is a great deal of connectedness that is problematic or threatening or unacknowledged, then anger is a way of keeping people separate, of putting distance between us.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “If this society ascribes roles to Black men which they are not allowed to fulfill, is it Black women who must bend and alter our lives to compensate, or is it society that needs changing?”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I thought of the African way of perceiving life, as experience to be lived rather than as problem to be solved.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I wanted to write in my journal but couldn’t bring myself to. There are so many shades to what passed through me in those days. And I would shrink from committing myself to paper because the light would change before the word was out, the ink was dry.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of Color remains chained.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Did you ever read my words, or did you merely finger through them for quotations which you thought might valuably support an already conceived idea concerning some old and distorted connection between us?”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I sit before the typewriter and nothing comes. If feels as if underlining these assaults, lining them up one after the other and looking at them squarely might give them an unbearable power. Yet, I know that the opposite is true-no matter how difficult it may be to look at the realities of our lives, it is there that we will find the strength to change them. And to suppress any truth is to give it power beyond endurance.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “All our children are outriders for a queendom not yet assured.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I seek no favor untouched by blood.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Too often, we pour the energy needed for recognizing and exploring difference into pretending those differences are insurmountable barriers, or that they do not exist at all.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “We have been sad long enough to make this earth either weep or grow fertile.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “The language by which we have been taught to dismiss ourselves and our feelings as suspect is the same language we use to dismiss and suspect each other.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “It is as hard for our children to believe that we are not omnipotent as it is for us to know it, as parents. But that knowledge is necessary as the first step in the reassessment of power as something other than might, age, privilege, or the lack of fear. It is an important step for a boy, whose societal destruction begins when he is forced to believe that he can only be strong if he doesn’t feel, or if he wins.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “As the light wanes I see what I thought I was anxious to surrender I am only willing to lend.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized. This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are – until the poem – nameless and formless, about to be birthed, but already felt.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “But anger expressed and translated into action in the service of our vision and our future is a liberating and strengthening act of clarification, for it is in the painful process of this translation that we identify who are our allies with whom we have grave differences, and who are our genuine enemies.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I heard my old friend Clem’s voice coming back to me through the dimness of thirty years: “I see you coming here trying to make sense where there is no sense. Try just living in it. Respond, alter, see what happens.” I thought of the African way of perceiving life, as experience to be lived rather than as problem to be solved.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “One pays a lot, we all pay a lot, for awareness. When I develop that sense of awareness, I develop, by extension, a sense concerning you. That does not dictate why my relationship is with you. I may have to fight you, but as soon as I am aware of you, I must relate to you. I must take you in. This is engagement. It is a prerequisite to any kind of love, and it is difficult and necessary.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “She taught me that women who want without needing are expensive and sometimes wasteful, but women who need without wanting are dangerous – they suck you in and pretend not to notice.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “The terror of Black Lesbians is buried in that deep inner place where we have been taught to fear all difference – to kill or ignore it. Be assured: loving women is not a communicable disease. You don’t catch it like the common cold.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I had discovered a new world called voluntary aloneness.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “As a living creature I am part of two kinds of forces- growth and decay, sprouting and withering, living and dying- and at any given moment of our lives, each one of us is actively located somewhere along a continuum between these two forces.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Simone de Beauvoir’s words echo in my head: “It is in the recognition of the genuine conditions of our lives that we gain the strength to act and our motivation for change.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I have a duty to speak the truth as I see it and share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigated pain. It is important to share how I know survival is survival and not just a walk throught the rain.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “In the interests of separation, Black women have been taught to view each other as always suspect, heartless competitors for the scarce male, the all-important prize that could legitimize our existence. This dehumanizing denial of self is no less lethal than the dehumanization of racism to which it is so closely allied.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “We have the power those who came before us have given us, to move beyond the place where they were standing. We have the trees, and water, and sun, and our children. Malcolm X does not live in the dry texts of his words as we read them; he lives in the energy we generate and use to move along the visions we share with him. We are making the future as well as bonding to survive the enormous pressures of the present, and that is what it means to be a part of history.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I feel not to be open about who I am in all respects places a certain kind of expectation on me I’m just not into meeting any more.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I cannot hide my anger to spare you guilt, nor hurt feelings, nor answering anger; for to do so insults and trivializes all our efforts. Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “It is within our differences that we are both most powerful and most vulnerable, and some of the most difficult tasks of our lives are the claiming of differences and learning to use those differences for bridges rather than as barriers between us.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Men avoid women’s observations by accusing us of being too “visceral”.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “And yes, it is very difficult to stand still and to listen to another woman’s voice delineate an agony I do not share, or one to which I myself have contributed.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I knew what it was like to be haunted by the ghost of a self one wished to be, but only half-sensed.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “But the erotic offers a well of replenishing and provocative force to the woman who does not fear its revelation, nor succumb to the belief that sensation is enough.”
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