Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
"Perhaps ... I am the face of one of your fears. Because I am a woman, because I am Black, because I am a lesbian, because I am myself -- a Black woman warrior poet doing my work -- come to ask you, are you doing yours?" This is how Audre Lorde introduces herself in a paper entitled "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action." Audre Lorde takes personal responsibility for this essential, perpetual transformation. In Sister Outsider she enters into dialogue with listeners and readers, lending us her voice and challenging us to speak and act for ourselves. She insists that we pay attention, that we confront the limitations we set upon ourselves and each other; her words have weight and resonance because she listens as rigorously as she speaks. She asks and risks more of herself than might seem possible; the political is personal on many levels of her life. She writes about facing the threat of cancer, about being part of an interracial lesbian couple raising a son, about sex, poetry, rage, and restraint. She is a fiercely intelligent writer, addressing racism, sexism, and heterosexism from the heart of her individual experience as an African-American, lesbian poet/warrior. Audre Lorde demonstrates how each of us must speak for and from our most intimate knowledge, yet simultaneously extend the boundaries around ourselves to include the "outsider," to include more than we have been, more than we thought we could imagine.