65 Audre Lorde Quotes On Love, Community, Feminism

Audre Lorde was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights, activist. She was a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” who dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and homophobia. These Audre Lorde quotes will motivate you in life to achieve success.

Best Audre Lorde Quotes

  1. “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” ~ Audre Lorde
  2. “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
  3. “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
  4. “There is nothing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” ~ Audre Lorde
  5. “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ~ Audre Lorde
  6. “Tomorrow belongs to those of us who conceive of it as belonging to everyone; who lends the best of ourselves to it, and with joy.” ~ Audre Lorde
  7. “We are all in the process of becoming.” ~ Audre Lorde

  8. “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” ~ Audre Lorde, Audre Lorde quotes on feminism
  9. “The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations that we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us.” ~ Audre Lorde
  10. “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
  11. “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
  12. “Divide and conquer must become define and empower.” ~ Audre Lorde

  13. “Without community, there is no liberation.” ~ Audre Lorde, Audre Lorde quotes on community
  14. “It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those other identified as outside the structures, in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make the strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” ~ Audre Lorde
  15. “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, Audre Lorde quotes on love
  16. “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” ~ Audre Lorde
  17. “… it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence.” ~ Audre Lorde

  18. “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
  19. “Unless one lives and loves in the trenches, it is difficult to remember that the war against dehumanization is ceaseless.” ~ Audre Lorde
  20. “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
  21. “For we have built into all of us, old blueprints of expectation and response, old structures of oppression and these must be altered at the same time that we alter the living condition which are the result of those structures. For the master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house.” ~ Audre Lorde
  22. “Anger, used, does not destroy. Hatred does.” ~ Audre Lorde

  23. “Even the smallest victory is never to be taken for granted. Each victory must be applauded.” ~ Audre Lorde
  24. “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
  25. “African tradition deals with life as an experience to be lived. In many respects, it is much like the Eastern philosophies in that we see ourselves as a part of a life force; we are joined, for instance, to the air, to the earth. We are part of the whole-life process. We live in accordance with, in a kind of correspondence with the rest of the world as a whole. And therefore living becomes an experience, rather than a problem, no matter how bad or how painful it may be.” ~ Audre Lorde
  26. “Oppression is as American as apple pie.” ~ Audre Lorde
  27. “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” ~ Audre Lorde
  28. “I am on the cusp of change and the curve is shifting fast.” ~ Audre Lorde

  29. “If I cannot air this pain and alter it, I will surely die of it. That’s the beginning of social protest.” ~ Audre Lorde
  30. “You are the one that you are looking for.” ~ Audre Lorde
  31. “Revolution is not a one-time event.” ~ Audre Lorde
  32. “Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You [white women] fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you; we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs on the reasons they are dying.” ~ Audre Lorde
  33. “Our visions begin with our desires.” ~ Audre Lorde
  34. “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” ~ Audre Lorde

  35. “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 restriction of externally imposed definition.” ~ Audre Lorde
  36. “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
  37. “Whenever a conscious Black woman raises her voice on issues central to her existence, somebody is going to call her strident, because they don’t want to hear about it, nor us. I refuse to be silenced and I refuse to be trivialized, even if I do not say what I have to say perfectly.” ~ Audre Lorde Quotes
  38. “I am still learning – how to take joy in all the people I am, how to use all my selves in the service of what I believe, how to accept when I fail and rejoice when I succeed.” ~ Audre Lorde
  39. “…my experience with people who tried to label me was that they usually did it to either dismiss me or use me.” ~ Audre Lorde
  40. “The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” ~ Audre Lorde

  41. “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. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect….what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? …Death on the other hand, is the final silence…my silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you.” ~ Audre Lorde
  42. “When you reach out and touch other human beings, it doesn’t matter whether you call it therapy or teaching or poetry.” ~ Audre Lorde
  43. “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
  44. “Institutionalized rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which needs outsiders as surplus people.” ~ Audre Lorde
  45. “Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever.” ~ Audre Lorde

  46. “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
  47. “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
  48. “To face the realities of our lives is not a reason for despair-despair is a tool of your enemies. Facing the realities of our lives gives us motivation for action. For you are not powerless… You know why the hard questions must be asked. It is not altruism, it is self-preservation-survival.” ~ Audre Lorde
  49. “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
  50. “I am a bleak heroism of words that refuse to be buried alive with the liars.” ~ Audre Lorde

  51. “Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me.” ~ Audre Lorde
  52. “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
  53. “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.” ~ Audre Lorde
  54. “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
  55. “‎Once we recognize what it is we are feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy.” ~ Audre Lorde
  56. “If you can’t change reality, change your perceptions of it.” ~ Audre Lorde

  57. “Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it. … pain will always either change or stop. Always. … The confidence that it will change is what makes bearing it possible. So pain is fluid. It is only when you conceive of it as something static that it is unbearable.” ~ Audre Lorde
  58. “Well, I do not want to be tolerated, nor misnamed. I want to be recognized.” ~ Audre Lorde Quotes
  59. “Institutionalized rejection of differences is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which needs outsiders as surplus people. As members of such an economy, we have all been programmed to respond to the human differences between us with fear and loathing and to handle that difference in one of three ways: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate.” ~ Audre Lorde
  60. “I am my best work – a series of road maps, reports, recipes, doodles, and prayers from the front lines.” ~ Audre Lorde
  61. “Your silence will not protect you.” ~ Audre Lorde

  62. “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…For the master’s tools will not dismantle the master’s house. They will never allow us to bring about genuine change.” ~ Audre Lorde
  63. “It is never easy to demand the most from ourselves, from our lives, from our work. To encourage excellence is to go beyond the encouraged mediocrity of our society is to encourage excellence. But giving in to the fear of feeling and working to capacity is a luxury only the unintentional can afford, and the unintentional are those who do not wish to guide their own destinies.” ~ Audre Lorde
  64. “[Speaking] is never without fear; of visibility, of the harsh light of scrutiny and perhaps judgment, of pain, of death. But we have lived through all of those already, in silence, except death. And I remind myself all the time now, that if I were to have been born mute, and had maintained an oath of silence my whole life for safety, I would still have suffered, and I would still die.” ~ Audre Lorde
  65. “…and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.” ~ Audre Lorde

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