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Top 300 Audre Lorde Quotes (2023 Update)
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Audre Lorde Quote: “We have been raised to fear the yes within ourselves, our deepest cravings. For the demands of our released expectations lead us inevitably into actions which will help bring our lives into accordance with our needs, our knowledge, our desires. And the fear of our deepest cravings keeps them suspect, keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, and leads us to settle for or accept many facets of our oppression as women.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Unless we develop some cohesive vision of that world in which we hope these children will participate, and some sense of our own responsibilities in the shaping of that world, we will only raise new performers in the master’s sorry drama.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “The failure of academic feminists to recognize difference as a crucial strength is a failure to reach beyond the first patriarchal lesson. In our world, divide and conquer must become define and empower.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? 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? Perhaps for some of you here today, I am the face of one of your fears. Because I am woman, because I am Black, because I am lesbian, because I am myself – a Black woman warrior poet doing my work – come to ask you, are you doing yours?”
Audre Lorde Quote: “I believe one of the hardest things you can do is conquer your fears, but if you have a goal, then it’s your job to open up and let it be real no matter how scary it seems.”
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: “The fear of our desires keeps them suspect and indiscriminately powerful, for to suppress any truth is to give it strength beyond endurance.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “All our children are outriders for a queendom not yet assured.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “When we admit and deal with difference; when we deal with the deep bitterness; when we deal with the horror of even our different nightmares; when we turn them and look at them, it’s like looking at death: hard but possible. If you look at it directly without embracing it, then there is much less that you can ever be made to fear.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “But the question is a matter of the survival and the teaching. That’s what our work comes down to. No matter where we key into it, it’s the same work, just different pieces of ourselves doing it.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “No woman is responsible for altering the psyche of her oppressor, even when that psyche is embodied in another woman.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Yet anger, like guilt, is an incomplete form of human knowledge. More useful than hatred, but still limited. Anger is useful to help clarify our differences, but in the long run, strength that is bred by anger alone is a blind force which cannot create the future. It can only demolish the past. Such strength does not focus upon what lies ahead, but upon what lies behind, upon what created it – hatred. And hatred is a deathwish for the hated, not a lifewish for anything else.”
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 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: “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: “When we create out of our experiences, as feminists of color, women of color, we have to develop those structures that will present and circulate our culture.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Decisions to cut aid for the terminally ill, for the elderly, for dependent children, for food stamps, even school lunches, are being made by men with full stomachs who live in comfortable houses with two cars and umpteen tax shelters. None of them go hungry to bed at night.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Say what you have to say now! Don’t wait until you’re sending blips from the other side.”
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: “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: “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: “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: “As the light wanes I see what I thought I was anxious to surrender I am only willing to lend.”
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 seek no favor untouched by blood.”
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: “It has been said that Black men cannot be denied their personal choice of the woman who meets their need to dominate. In that case, Black women also cannot be denied our personal choices, and those choices are becoming increasingly self-assertive and female oriented.”
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: “We cannot love ‘our people’ unless we love each of us ourselves, unless I love each piece of myself, those I wish to keep and those I wish to change – for survival is the ability to encompass difference, to encompass change without destruction.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Men avoid women’s observations by accusing us of being too “visceral”.”
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: “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: “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: “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: “The dichotomy between the spiritual and the political is also false, resulting from an incomplete attention to our erotic knowledge. For the bridge which connects them is formed by the erotic – the sensual – those physical, emotional, and psychic expressions of what is deepest and strongest and richest within each of us, being shared: the passions of love, in its deepest meanings.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill... For the master’s tools will not dismantle the master’s house. They will never allow us to bring about genuine change.”
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: “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: “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: “Interdependency between women is the way to a freedom which allows the I to be, not in order to be used, but in order to be creative. This is a difference between the passive be and the active being.”
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: “And I remind myself all the time now that if I were to have been born mute, or had maintained an oath of silence my whole life long for safety, I would still have suffered, and I would still die. It is very good for establishing perspective.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Black women have on one hand always been highly visible, and so, on the other hand, have been rendered invisible through the depersonalization of racism.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “Each of us is called upon to take a stand. So in these days ahead, as we examine ourselves and each other, our works, our fears, our differences, our sisterhood and survivals, I urge you to tackle what is most difficult for us all, self-scrutiny of our complacencies, the idea that since each of us believes she is on the side of right, she need not examine her position.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “It’s possible to take that as a personal metaphor and then multiply it to a people, a race, a sex, a time. If we can keep this thing going long enough, if we can survive and teach what we know, we’ll make it.”
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: “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.”
Audre Lorde Quote: “In order to work together we do not have to become a mix of indistinguishable particles resembling a vat of homogenized chocolate milk. Unity implies the coming together of elements which are, to begin with, varied and diverse in their particular natures. Our persistence in examining the tensions within diversity encourages growth toward our common goal.”
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