50+ Best Audre Lorde Quotes: Exclusive Selection

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Audre Lorde was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. As a poet, she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. Profoundly inspirational Audre Lorde quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for motivating activist quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of profound Bell Hooks quotes, amazing Coretta Scott King quotes and top Dorothy Day quotes.

Famous Audre Lorde Quotes

I have no creative use for guilt, yours or my own. Guilt is only another way of avoiding informed action, of buying time out of the pressing need to make clear choices, out of the approaching storm that can feed the earth as well as bend the trees.

I have lived with that anger, ignoring it, feeding upon it, learning to use it before it laid my visions to waste, for most of my life.

There are many kinds of power, used and unused, acknowledged or otherwise.

Our future survival is predicated upon our ability to relate within equality.

Difference is that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged.

I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.

For women, the need and desire to nurture each other is not pathological but redemptive, and it is within that knowledge that our real power I rediscovered.

I am standing here as a Black lesbian poet, and the meaning of all that waits upon the fact that I am still alive, and might not have been.

Whatever power we have that we don’t use will become an instrument against us, the question of differences is a perfect example. If we do not learn to use our differences constructively they will continue to be used against as causes for war. We must turn this around, not by eliminating difference or pretending it doesn’t exist, but examining how it may be used and recognized.

The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.

Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat.

If I speak to you in anger, at least I have spoken to you.

But anger expressed and translated into action in the service of our vision af!d 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.

As Black women we have the right and responsibility to define ourselves and to seek our allies in common cause: with Black men against racism, and with each other and white women against sexism. But most of all, as Black women we have the right and responsibility to recognize each other without fear and to love where we choose.

Revolution is not a one time event.

Unacknowledged class differences rob women of each others’ energy and creative insight.

Of course I am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-revelation, and that always seems fraught with danger.

I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot afford to believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group.

We need a movement [that] encourages you and me to define ourselves.

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.

If you can’t change reality, change your perceptions of it.

We cannot allow our fear of anger to deflect us nor seduce us into settling for anything less than the hard work of excavating honesty.

Among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children there can be no hierarchies of oppression.

Inspirational Audre Lorde Quotes

When I speak of change, I do not mean a simple switch of positions or a temporary lessening of tensions, nor the ability to smile or feel good. I am speaking of a basic and radical alteration in those assumptions underlining our lives.

Women are powerful and dangerous.

Without community there is no liberation.

I know that my people cannot possibly profit from the oppression of any other group which seeks the right to peaceful existence.

For wherever our oppression manifests itself in this country, black people are potential victims.

Mainstream communication does not want women, particularly white women, responding to racism. It wants racism to be accepted as an immutable given in the fabric of your existence, like evening-time or the common cold.

Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you, we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs upon the reasons they’re dying.

If I speak to you in anger, at least I have spoken to you.

I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength.

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.

Anger is an appropriate reaction to racist attitudes, as is fury when the actions arising from those attitudes do not change.

But the strength of women lies in recognizing differences between us as creative, and in standing to those distortions which we inherited without blame, but which are now ours to alter.

I do not want to be tolerated, nor misnamed. I want to be recognized.

In our world, divide and conquer must become define and empower.

I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.

I am trying to become the strongest person I can become to live the life I have been given and to help effect change toward a liveable future for this earth and for my children.

For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.

In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light, and what I most regretted were my silences.

I must battle these forces of discrimination, .wherever they appear to destroy me. And when they appear to destroy me, it will not be long before they appear to destroy you.

In a world of possibility for us all, our personal visions help lay the groundwork for political action.

Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you, we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs upon the reasons they’re dying.

Oppressed peoples are always being asked to stretch a little more, to bridge the gap between blindness and humanity.

And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from  all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible.

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.

My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.

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

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