Women's Activism NYC

Audre Lorde

1934 - 1992

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A self-described "black lesbian feminist mother warrior poet” was born on February 18, 1934. As a poet, autobiographer, and writer her passion involved writing about Racial issues and lesbian feminism. She came from an immigrant family from Grenada and was the youngest of three sisters. She was a student at Hunter College where she received her BA and also attended Columbia University where she received her MLS. From 1961 to 1968 she was a librarian in New York public schools before publishing her first volume of poetry "First Cities." In 1968, she also became the writer in residence at Tougaloo College in Mississippi where she learned that she enjoyed teaching. Her poetry writing continued with "Cables to Rage" and "From a Land Where Other People Live" which was nominated for a National Book Award. In both of these books she spoke about political matters and showcased her anger with social and personal injustice. In 1974, she decided to publish her first political work called "New York Head Shot and Museum" where she spoke about the impact of love and its power. In 1976 when she published "The Black Unicorn" it was considered by many to be her best poetic work due to her rich mythology and imagery. Unfortunately Lorde, was diagnosed with cancer and wrote about her struggle in her first prose collection "The Cancer Journals" which was the winner of the Gay Caucus Book of the Year in 1981. She has also won a National Book Award and received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1981. In 1980, Lorde and a writer named Barbara Smith founded the Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press. In addition to that she was also the founding member of the Sisters in Support of Sisters in South Africa which raised concerns about women under apartheid. Lorde was also a professor of English at Hunter College and at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

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