For those of us who live at the shoreline standing upon the constant edges of decision crucial and alone for those of us who cannot indulge the passing dreams of choice who love in doorways coming and going in the hours between dawns looking inward and outward at once before and after seeking a now that can breed futures like bread in our children's mouths so their dreams will not reflect the death of ours;
For those of us who were imprinted with fear like a faint line in the center of our foreheads learning to be afraid with our mother's milk for by this weapon this illusion of some safety to be found the heavy-footed hoped to silence us For all of us this instant and this triumph We were never meant to survive.
And when the sun rises we are afraid it might not remain when the sun sets we are afraid it might not rise in the morning when our stomachs are full we are afraid of indigestion when our stomachs are empty we are afraid we may never eat again when we are loved we are afraid love will vanish when we are alone we are afraid love will never return and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid.
So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.
- Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn
A Litany For Survival: the Life and Work of Audre Lorde
Ada Gray Griffin and Michelle Parkerson | 1995 | 52 min
An epic portrait of the eloquent, award-winning Black, lesbian, poet, mother, teacher and activist, Audre Lorde, whose writings -- spanning five decades -- articulated some of the most important social and political visions of the century. From Lorde's childhood roots in NYC's Harlem to her battle with breast cancer, this moving film explores a life and a body of work that embodied the connections between the Civil Rights movement, the Women's movement, and the struggle for lesbian and gay rights. 'A Litany for Survival' features interviews with many of Lorde's fellow poets and activists, including Adrienne Rich, Sapphire, and Sonia Sanchez--all of whom pay tribute to Lorde's impact as a mentor and inspirational force.
Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992
Dagmar Schultz | 2012 | 79 min
with an introduction by Sarah Ahmed (this is a written intro which we will read out loud)
American poet, librarian, and civil rights activist Audre Lorde resided in Berlin, Germany during a critical personal and political time. This documentary chronicles an untold chapter of Lorde’s life: her empowerment of Afro-German women, as she challenged white women to acknowledge the significance of their white privilege and to deal with difference in constructive ways. Lorde's influence on the German political and cultural scene was during a decade that brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of East and West Germany. Her significant contributions, spanning discourses on racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, classism, and homophobia within the Black movement and the Black and white women’s movement, continue today. Lord’s encouragement that Afro-German women begin writing their history and stories to form political networks in Germany influenced authors such as May Ayim, Katharina Oguntoye and Ika Hügel-Marshall. During these years, Lorde’s diagnosis of terminal cancer left her American doctors without hope for her survival. Berlin became her third home where she received naturopathic treatment in part responsible for the next eight years of her life.
Happy Birthday Audre Lorde!
Audre would have been 84 today. Join us in remembering this inspirational and amazing woman by watching some films together and, if time allows, read some of her poems.