Audre Lorde's Poetry Is Not A Luxury And The Black Unicorn

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Audre Lorde is a black, lesbian, female, and feminist. She writes poetry and literature about her intersectional struggles and liberations in the black movement and lesbian movement. Lorde was alive during 1930s to the 1990s with a significant amount of her work being produced during the 1960s and into the 1970s. The main wave of feminism at this time was very white-centric, as were the gay and lesbian liberation and movement. The intersectional cross of her identity created extreme internal and external struggles in her day to day life. Through poetry, Audre Lorde explores and explains the intersectional oppression that she faces as a black, female lesbian in the midst of the feminist movement and gay and lesbian movement in the 1960s and …show more content…
Both works offer insight on the oppression of black women, women in general, and lesbians. In Poetry Is Not a Luxury, Lorde explains why poetry is a source of freedom and liberation for women; “For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our experience. It forms the quality of light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.” She once again explores the idea of oppression against women as perpetrated by men, more specifically white men. Her indignation of this oppression, she says, can be healed through poetry. She writes, “Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought… Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary demand, the implementation of that freedom.” This use of poetry is her reasoning for writing Who Said It Was Simple and The Black Unicorn. In The Black Unicorn, Lorde again uses more aggressive and direct words and phrases such as “mist painted mockeries of my fury,” “greedy,” “impatient,” “restless,” “unrelenting,” and “not free.” These words and phrases explore why poetry is “a vital necessity” while also connecting to Who Said It Was Simple by depicting the oppression based on race (i.e. black unicorn,) gender, and sexuality. Lorde says that black women are a “shadow or symbol” of white women who have privilege based on race and therefore black women are not included in the women’s liberation movement as stated in Who Said It Was Simple. Lorde’s works have extending connection that present the lack of intersectionality and inclusivity within the women’s liberation and the gay and lesbian liberation through symbolism and

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