There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt.
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.
Your silence will not protect you.
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.
When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.
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.
In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.
The sixties were characterized by a heady belief in instantaneous solutions.
Black writers, of whatever quality, who step outside the pale of what black writers are supposed to write about, or who black writers are supposed to be, are condemned to silences in black literary circles that are as total and as destructive as any imposed by racism.
I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.
Black women are programmed to define ourselves within this male attention and to compete with each other for it rather than to recognize and move upon our common interests.
Audre Lorde — quotes and aphorisms
There's always someone asking you to underline one piece of yourself — whether it's Black, woman, mother, dyke, teacher, etc. — because that's the piece that they need to key in to. They want to dismiss everything else.
The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.
I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't.
In other words, I would be giving in to a myth of sameness which I think can destroy us.
If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.
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.
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.
Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.