Audre Lorde Essay

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Audre Lorde was born on February 18, 1934 in New York City to immigrant parents from the West Indies. She learned to talk, read, and write somewhere around the age of four and wrote her first poem in eighth grade, which was then published in Seventeen magazine. In 1962, Lorde married a man named Edward Rollins and had two children before they divorced in 1970. However, in 1968 she moved to Tougaloo, Mississippi and met her long-term partner, Frances Clayton. Her earliest poems were often romantic, but in the 1960s became more politically centered due to the amount of civil unrest combined with confusion over her own sexuality. At the time many of her poems were written, more than one-fifth of the nation lived below the poverty line, and…show more content…
The idea of feminist criticism began in the 1960s, right around the time Lorde wrote and published much of her work. She used feminist theory as a way to undermine traditional patriarchal systems and unite women in a struggle against discrimination, oppression, racism, sexism, and patriarchy. Her writing aims to examine and promote women’s interests, as well as help women of various backgrounds identify with one another through their commonality of systemic oppression and their desire for basic human rights. In Lorde’s words, "I am defined as other in every group I'm part of". This phrase is a product of our society’s notion that to be different means one can not associate oneself with any given group unless they fit wholly into that and nothing else. As Lorde puts it, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” Lorde was known to have criticized some feminists during the 1960s for focusing on the specific experiences of white middle-class women rather than women as a diverse group. Through her work, she has observed that black women's experiences are often vastly different from those of white women, and because being a white woman is considered normal, black women are often marginalized and cast out of the “woman identity”. This is similar to the way lesbians are considered to be against feminism for not fitting the mold of the
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