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Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Sister Outsider: Essays and SpeechesAudre LordeCrossing Press1982

From Wikipedia: Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches is a collection of essential essays and speeches written by Audre Lorde, a woman who wrote from the particulars of her identity: Black woman, lesbian, poet, activist, cancer survivor, mother, and feminist writer. This collection, now considered a classic volume, of Lorde’s most influential works of non-fiction prose has had a groundbreaking impact in the development of contemporary feminist theories. 

In fifteen essays and speeches dating from 1976 to 1984, Lorde explores the complexities of intersectional identity, while explicitly drawing from her personal experiences of oppression to include: sexism, heterosexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and ageism. The book examines a broad range of topics, including love, self-love, war, imperialism, police brutality, coalition building, violence against women, Black feminism, and movements towards equality that recognize and embrace differences as a vehicle for change.

With meditative conscious reasoning, Lorde explores her misgivings for the widespread marginalization deeply-rooted in the United States’ white patriarchal system, all the while, offering messages of hope. The essays in this landmark collection are extensively taught and have become a widespread area of academic analysis. Lorde’s philosophical reasoning that recognizes oppressions as complex and interlocking designates her work as a significant contribution to critical social theory.

[Sister Outsider is] another indication of the depth of analysis that black women writers are contributing to feminist thought.

Barbara Christian, PhD, author of Black Feminist Criticism: Perspectives on Black Women Writers

Table of Contents

1. Notes from a trip to Russia
2. Poetry is not a luxury
3. The transformation of silence into language and action
4. Scratching the surface: some notes on barriers to women and loving
5. Uses of the erotic: the erotic as power
6. Sexism: an American disease in blackface
7. An open letter to Mary Daly
8. Man child: a black lesbian feminist’s response
9. An interview: Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich
10. The Master’s tools will never dismantle the Master’s house
11. Age, race, class, and sex: women redefining difference
12. The uses of anger: women responding to racism
13. Learning from the 60s
14. Eye to eye: black women, hatred, and anger
15. Grenada revisited: an interim report