Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde was a Black lesbian poet/activist. In “Sister Outsider,” several of her essays have been compiled. With reflective, poetic prose, Lorde talks about her trip to Russia, about living as both a Black person and a woman, raising her children to be good people, the value of poetry, the beauty of eroticism, and more.
Queer, memoir, essays
A collection of fifteen essays written between 1976 and 1984 gives clear voice to Audre Lorde's literary and philosophical personae. These essays explore and illuminate the roots of Lorde's intellectual development and her deep-seated and longstanding concerns about ways of increasing empowerment among minority women writers and the absolute necessity to explicate the concept of difference—difference according to sex, race, and economic status. The title Sister Outsider finds its source in her poetry collection The Black Unicorn (1978). These poems and the essays in Sister Outsider stress Lorde's oft-stated theme of continuity, particularly of the geographical and intellectual link between Dahomey, Africa, and her emerging self.
This is the first book by Audre Lorde I’ve read, and I will be reading a lot more. While this is nonfiction prose, it is never dull, and she writes in a moving way that keeps it from getting boring. She has so many unique thoughts on these topics, and I loved hearing her perspective. Lorde is one of the many Black activists overlooked in favor of talking only about MLK and Rosa Parks. But Lorde had a huge influence on Black feminist theory and queer liberation. She was a towering figure in the Black literary world, and deservedly. Sister Outsider is one of her most favorite works, and I would recommend it whether you like nonfiction essays or not. While written decades ago, Lorde’s words on race, gender, and sexuality are still entirely relevant, and still serve as a guide in our fight for liberation today.