Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Today in Gay History

Happy Birthday
Lorde, Poet (1934-1992)

The work of African-American activist and writer Audre Lord was greatly influenced by her lesbianism.

Born on February 18, 1934, in New York City educated Hunter College and Columbia University. On completing her masters degree in library studies in 1961 at Columbia University, she initially worked as a librarian in New York.

Pursuing a distinguished academic career, she taught English at Hunter College, was a poet in residence at Tougaloo College, and a visiting lecturer throughout the United States.

After a divorce in 1970, Lorde began to have long-term relationships with women. Her lesbianism informed all of her work. Lorde's work challenges the conventions and norms of a racist, heterosexist, and homphobic society and stress the urgency of fighting against inequality. From her first texts, the poet reiterates her sexual identity and reaffirms her literary as well as social space. In her poetry, essays, interviews, and fiction, she articulates a political discourse that underscores the oppression suffered by black lesbians.

She died in 1992 after a long battle with cancer.

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