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Lorde, Audre

  • By: Cassie Premo Steele
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Audre Lorde was, as she described, “a black woman warrior poet” who was born in Harlem and lived from 1934 until her death in 1992, after a 14-year struggle with breast cancer. Lorde was, in many ways, a survivor who worked to end the many silences in black women's history. As a mother, lesbian, feminist, African American, and a cancer survivor, Lorde reflects the multiplicity of black women's existence.

Breaking the Silence

It is the connection between the silence about black women's history and black women's continued oppression that Lorde's work examines. Dating from slavery, black women's sexuality was owned and used by white slave owners in two main ways: for the reproduction of wealth and labor through enforced pregnancies, and as an outlet for white men's ...

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