Best Inspiration Audre Lorde Quotes 2021

Best Inspiration Audre Lorde Quotes

Being an American poet, author, feminist, librarians, and civil rights activist, Audre Lorde once describes herself as”a black lesbian feminist warrior mum.” She used her voice to tackle sexism, classism, racism, and homophobia in America. She spent her entire life advocating for equality and utilizing her strong voice to fight for what she thought. Below are the best Audre Lorde Quotes that can inspire you to have a lot more purposeful life from the Penn Book. Continue reading if you want to find out more.

Best Inspirational Quotes

feminism and activism

Quotes celebrating feminism and activism

1. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde

2. “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde

3. “My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences.” – Audre Lorde

4. “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde

5. “Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.” – Audre Lorde

6. “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” – Audre Lorde

7. “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” – Audre Lorde

8. “In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.” – Audre Lorde

9. “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.” – Audre Lorde

10. “The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them and lessens the threat of their difference.” – Audre Lorde

Quotes on finding your voice

11. “When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” – Audre Lorde

12. “…and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.” – Audre Lorde

13. “Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me.” – Audre Lorde

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Quotes on finding your voice

14. “I learned so much from listening to people. And all I knew was, the only thing I had was honesty and openness.” – Audre Lorde

15. “You cannot, you cannot use someone else’s fire. You can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe that you have it.” – Audre Lorde

16. “We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit.” – Audre Lorde

17. “You do not have to be me in order for us to fight alongside each other. I do not have to be you to recognize that our wars are the same. What we must do is commit ourselves to some future that can include each other and to work toward that future with the particular strengths of our individual identities. And in order for us to do this, we must allow each other our differences at the same time as we recognize our sameness.” – Audre Lorde

18. “The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has a direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives.” – Audre Lorde

19. “Sometimes we drug ourselves with dreams of new ideas The head will save us. The brain alone will set us free. But there are no new ideas waiting in the wings to save us as women, as humans. There are only old and forgotten ones, new combinations, extrapolations and recognitions from within ourselves–along with the renewed courage to try them out.” – Audre Lorde

20. “I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.” – Audre Lorde

Quotes on courage, strength, and perseverance

21. “When times are hard, do something. If it works, do it some more. If it does not work, do something else. But keep going.” – Audre Lorde

22. “And I find I must remember that the pain is not its own reason for being. It is a part of living. And the only kind of pain that is intolerable is pain that is wasteful, pain from which we do not learn. And I think that we must learn to distinguish between the two.” – Audre Lorde

23. “And where the words of women are crying to be heard, we must each of us recognize our responsibility to seek those words out, to read them and share them and examine them in their pertinence to our lives.” – Audre Lorde

24. “If what we need to dream, to move our spirits most deeply and directly toward and through promise, is discounted as a luxury, then we give up the core — the fountain — of our power, our womanness; we give up the future of our worlds.” – Audre Lorde

25. “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” – Audre Lorde

Quotes on courage, strength, and perseverance

26. “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” – Audre Lorde

27. “We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.” – Audre Lorde

28. “When people share common oppression, certain kinds of skills and joint defenses are developed. And if you survive you survive because those skills and defenses have worked. When you come into conflict over other existing differences, there is a vulnerability to each other which is desperate and very deep.” – Audre Lorde

29. “When we create out of our experiences, as feminists of color, women of color, we have to develop those structures that will present and circulate our culture.” – Audre Lorde

30. “One of the hardest things to accept is learning to live within uncertainty and neither deny it nor hide behind it. Most of all, to listen to the messages of uncertainty without allowing them to immobilize me, nor keep me from the certainties of those truths in which I believe. I turn away from any need to justify the future- to live in what has not yet been. Believing, working for what has not yet been while living fully in the present now.” – Audre Lorde

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quotes on fighting for what you believe in

Quotes on fighting for what you believe in

31. “The failure of academic feminists to recognize difference as a crucial strength is a failure to reach beyond the first patriarchal lesson. In our world, divide and conquer must become defined and empower.” – Audre Lorde

32. “For Black women as well as Black men, it is axiomatic that if we do not define ourselves for ourselves, we will be defined by others — for their use and to our detriment.” – Audre Lorde

33. “The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.” – Audre Lorde

34. “Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.” – Audre Lorde

35. “Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.” – Audre Lorde

36. “I am my best work – a series of road maps, reports, recipes, doodles, and prayers from the front lines.” – Audre Lorde

37. “Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.” – Audre Lorde

38. “We must recognize and nurture the creative parts of each other without always understanding what will be created.” – Audre Lorde

39. “You become strong by doing the things you need to be strong for. This is the way genuine learning takes place. That’s a very difficult way to live, but it also has served me. It’s been an asset as well as a liability.” – Audre Lorde

40. “We recognize that all knowledge is mediated through the body and that feeling is a profound source of information about our lives.” – Audre Lorde

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Battling racism and sexism

Quotes to help you find inspiration throughout your battles

41. “Learning not to crumple before these uncertainties fuels my resolve to print myself upon the texture of each day fully rather than forever.” – Audre Lorde

42. “The more I use my strength in the service of my vision the less I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde

43. “We must constantly encourage ourselves and each other to attempt the heretical actions that our dreams imply and so many of our old ideas disparage.” – Audre Lorde

44. “Out of my flesh that hunger and my mouth that knows comes to the shape I am seeking for reason.” – Audre Lorde

45. “Our visions begin with our desires.” – Audre Lorde

46. “In the forefront of our move toward change, there is only poetry to hint at possibility made real.” – Audre Lorde

47. “As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny, and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.” – Audre Lorde

48. “I have a duty to speak the truth as I see it and share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigated pain. It is important to share how I know survival is survival and not just a walk through the rain.” – Audre Lorde

49. “Difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.” – Audre Lorde

50. “To acknowledge privilege is the first step in making it available for wider use. Each of us is blessed in some particular way, whether we recognize our blessings or not. And each one of us, somewhere in our lives, must clear a space within that blessing where she can call upon whatever resources are available to her in the name of something that must be done.” – Audre Lorde

51. “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.”– Audre Lorde

52. “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.” ― Audre Lorde

53. “Tell them about how you’re never really a whole person if you remain silent, because there’s always that one little piece inside you that wants to be spoken out, and if you keep ignoring it, it gets madder and madder and hotter and hotter, and if you don’t speak it out one day it will just up and punch you in the mouth from the inside.” ― Audre Lorde

54. “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ― Audre Lorde

55. “Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.” ― Audre Lorde

56. “My fullest concentration of energy is available to me only when I integrate all the parts of who I am, openly, allowing power from particular sources of my living to flow back and forth freely through all my different selves, without the restrictions of externally imposed definition. Only then can I bring myself and my energies as a whole to the service of those struggles which I embrace as part of my living.” —Audre Lorde

57. “Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.” ― Audre Lorde

58. “I want to live the rest of my life, however long or short, with as much sweetness as I can decently manage, loving all the people I love, and doing as much as I can of the work I still have to do. I am going to write fire until it comes out of my ears, my eyes, my nose holes everywhere. Until it’s every breath I breathe. I’m going to go out like a fucking meteor!” ― Audre Lorde

59. “The speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And at last, you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.” ~ Audre Lorde

60. “Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill…The master’s tools will not dismantle the master’s house. They will never allow us to bring about genuine change.” ― Audre Lorde

61. “It is not the destiny of Black America to repeat white America’s mistakes. But we will if we mistake the trappings of success in a sick society for the signs of a meaningful life.” ~ Audre Lorde

62. “Your silence will not protect you.” ― Audre Lorde

63. “There is nothing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”― Audre Lorde

64. “I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self.” ― Audre Lorde

65. “What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?” —Audre Lorde

66. act of political warfare“When you reach out and touch other human beings, it doesn’t matter whether you call it therapy or teaching or poetry.” ~ Audre Lorde

67. “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ~ Audre Lorde

68. “This is how I learned that if I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” —Audre Lorde

69. “Revolution is not a one-time event.” ― Audre Lorde

70. “But the true feminist deals out of a lesbian consciousness whether or not she ever sleeps with women.” ― Audre Lorde

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