Audre Lorde

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Caribbean-American poet and academic Audre Lorde was among the first theorists to write extensively on the way race and other characteristics impacted the focus of the feminist movement. She viewed the accepted narrative of man vs. woman as overly simplistic, and sought to gain recognition for the subcategories involved in both: race, class, sexual orientation, health, etc. Although she completed a master’s degree in library science, the bulk of her career was spent teaching English at various colleges and universities. Her decades of poetry earned her a space in one of Langston Hughes’ anthologies, and the title of State Poet of New York in the year before her death.

Lorde, in keeping with her theories, viewed her lesbianism as being a part of her identity inseparable from her work. As she put it: “Let me tell you first about what it was like being a Black woman poet in the ’60s, from jump. It meant being invisible. It meant being really invisible. It meant being doubly invisible as a Black feminist woman and it meant being triply indivisible as a Black lesbian and feminist.”

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