Audre Lorde was not only a famous poet; she was also one of the most important radical black feminists of the past century. Her writings and speeches grappled with an impressive broad list of topics, including sexuality, race, gender, class, disease, the arts, parenting, and resistance, and they have served as a transformative and important foundation for theorists and activists in considering questions of power and social justice. Lorde embraced difference, and at
each turn she emphasized the importance of using it to build shared strength among marginalized communities.
I Am Your Sister is a collection of Lorde's non-fiction prose, written between 1976 and 1990, and it introduces new perspectives on the depth and range of Lorde's intellectual interests and her commitments to progressive social change. Presented here, for the first time in print, is a major body of Lorde's speeches and essays, along with the complete text of A Burst of Light and Lorde's landmark prose works Sister Outsider and The Cancer Journals. Together,
these writings reveal Lorde's commitment to a radical course of thought and action, situating her works within the women's, gay and lesbian, and African American Civil Rights movements. They also place her within a continuum of black feminists, from Sojourner Truth, to Anna Julia Cooper, Amy Jacques Garvey, Lorraine Hansberry, and
Patricia Hill Collins. I Am Your Sister concludes with personal reflections from Alice Walker, Gloria Joseph, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and bell hooks on Lorde's political and social commitments and the indelibility of her writings for all who are committed to a more equitable society.
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Rudolph P. Byrd is the Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts and the Department of African American Studies, and is the Founding Director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies at Emory University.
Johnnetta Betsch Cole is President Emerita of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women, and Professor Emerita of Emory University. She is currently Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art.
Beverly Guy-Sheftall is Founding Director of the Women's Research and Resource Center and Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies at Spelman College. She is also an adjunct professor at Emory University's Institute for Women's Studies.
Introduction: Create Your Own Fire: Audre Lorde and the Tradition of Black Radical Thought, Rudolph P. Byrd
Part I: From Sister Outsider and A Burst of Light
1. The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action
2. Sexism: An American Disease in Blackface
3. Sadomasochism: Not About Condemnation: An Interview with Audre Lorde, Susan Leigh Star
4. I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities
5. Apartheid U.S.A.
6. Turning the Beat Around: Lesbian Parenting 1986
7. A Burst of Light: Living with Cancer
Part II: My Words Will Be There
8. Eva's Man by Gayl Jones: A Review
9. Self-Defi nition and My Poetry
10. Introduction: Movement in Black by Pat Parker
11. My Words Will Be There
12. Foreword to the English Edition of Farbe bekennen: Afro-deutsche Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Geschichte
13. Preface to a New Edition of Need: A Chorale for Black Woman Voices
14. Poet as Teacher--Human as Poet--Teacher as Human
15. Poetry Makes Something Happen
16. My Mother's Mortar
Part III: Difference and Survival
17. Difference and Survival: An Address at Hunter College
18. The First Black Feminist Retreat: July 6, 1977
19. When Will the Ignorance End? Keynote Speech at the National Third World Gay and Lesbian Conference,
October 13, 1979
20. An Address Delivered as Part of the "Litany of Commitment" at the March on Washington, August 27, 1983
21. Commencement Address: Oberlin College, May 29, 1989
22. There Is No Hierarchy of Oppression
23. What Is at Stake in Lesbian and Gay Publishing Today: The Bill Whitehead Award Ceremony, 1990
24. Is Your Hair Still Political?
Part IV: Reflections
25. Audre Lorde: My Shero, My Teacher, My Sister Friend, Johnnetta Betsch Cole
26. Audre's Voice, Alice Walker
27. Lorde: The Imagination of Justice, bell hooks
28. Remembering Audre Lorde, Gloria I. Joseph
Epilogue. Bearing Witness: The Legacy of Audre Lorde, Beverly Guy-Sheftall
I Am Your Sister combines some of Lorde's most powerful essays with previously unavailable writings, as well as reflections on her work from other influential artists and activists. * Southern Voice * I Am Your Sister is a collection for those who want and need to be introduced to Audre Lorde's thinking, and it is a great anthology for those who have read and been inspired by Lorde's writing all of their lives...a celebration, an honoring, and a thoughtful presentation of who Lorde was...an eye opener to how the struggles of past times continue to be what we grapple with today...a tool for survival-a teacher to help us realize our possibilities for change. * Feminist Review * The editors of this abundant feast of a book remind us of the importance of Audre Lorde's work, which for 40 years has served as a foundation and catalyst for questions of identity, difference, power and social justice. There is much to ponder, discuss, teach and revere in this compilation. * Ms. Magazine * A thorough survey, to say the least...I Am Your Sister reveals Lorde's legacy anew. * Bitch Magazine * This book, clearly a labor of love by three colleagues who also call themselves friends, meets its objectives and more...This invaluable collections enables us to hear Lorde's voice again and to use the life lessons she shared with us. * Women's Review of Books *
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