Theme Of Zami: A New Spelling Of My Name, By Audre Lorde

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A common theme in Audre Lorde’s “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name” is the idea of intersectionality and how these different categories make up a person’s identity. Lorde has many different identities that make her a whole. She has a hard time separating these things within her, because she is never just Black, or just a women, or just a lesbian. However, she is often forced to pick between her identities and is rarely allowed or comfortable enough expressing all three. Therefore, she quite often has to choose a part of herself to repress in front of others in order to be accepted as part of the group. I argue that although only expressing part of her identity has allowed her to be accepted, it has also left her as an outsider, since they never …show more content…
However, she never felt quite able to express her true self in either category, but when she was within those groups she was reminded to focus on the differences between them and the outsiders, and not the differences between one another. Lorde ends this paragraph pretty impactfully by saying “But in high school, my real sisters were strangers; my teachers were racists; and my friends were that color I was never supposed to trust” (Lorde, 81). As she grew older, she realized that she did not fit in with her family; the teachers she was supposed to be able to confide in did not like her because of her skin color; and there was a discrepancy between her friends and her that she found impossible to address. Also, her mom wanted her to be polite to white people but would constantly tell her they are not to be trusted. Additionally, her actual sisters saw her as an outsider because she was the youngest, and had a very different way of thinking and doing things. She describes them as strangers, because even though they are biologically related, they do not truly know anything about each other's inner thoughts and feelings. Her own teachers were racists, so being in this Catholic school made it very difficult for her to express her Black identity. Furthermore, there is no way the church would ever accept her lesbianism. She did not truly belong there. Also, this shows the teachers conflicting identities. They are catholic teachers who are supposed to treat their students equally and preach loving your neighbor, but they really have a preference for the white students. Moreover, she fit in with her friends as they were all sort of “misfits”, but she was pretty much the only black girl in the group, and even though she felt she confide in them, her mom told her she could not trust White people. Ostensibly, everyone has on a facade in order to function in

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