Sunday, August 30, 2020
The other day a book arrived that I couldn’t recall having ordered. It’s A Burst of Light and other essays by Audre Lorde. Soon I remembered that Lorde’s work referenced by a past-writer whose work I’m re-reading after many years. Lorde’s book is a collection of essays and speeches, and scanning a bit of her writing blew me away. She’s a brilliant thinker, an honest, talented writer, and I’m eager to return to her work.
Lorde (1934-92) was African-American, a lesbian, mother, and a civil rights activist. She primarily was a poet, having begun writing poetry as a child. Later she self-described as “thinking in poetry”. From childhood, she felt like a social outcast, was rebellious, and these fed her interests and writings. In the 1950s, while attending college in Mexico, she learned to confirm her identify on personal and artistic levels, as a lesbian and poet. In America, socially it was an early period to be a black person speaking of non-hetrosexual emotions. Lorde never backed from who she was, and her writing, compelling and brilliant, supported her presence.
My nearly-accidental introduction to this writer is exciting. She’s straight from the Great Depression era that introduced many brilliant African-American thinkers and writers. Those who migrated from the Jim Crow South made their voices heard, had plenty of issues, to speak about, be recognized, and acknowledged. Their works deserved and earned appropriate attention.
I’m certain that after reading Lorde, on another morning I’ll speak again of her work.
Dear Friends: The rough road, from a Deep south to Black Lives Matter. Diana