Audre Lorde

About Audre Lorde

Who is it?: Writer
Birth Day: February 18, 1934
Birth Place: Harlem, New York City, United States
Died On: November 17, 1992(1992-11-17) (aged 58)\nSaint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Birth Sign: Pisces
Cause of death: Liver cancer
Occupation: Poet, writer, activist, essayist, librarian
Education: Columbia University, Hunter College High School, Hunter College, National University of Mexico
Genre: Poetry, non-fiction
Literary movement: Civil rights
Notable works: The First Cities, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, The Cancer Journals

Audre Lorde Net Worth

Audre Lorde was bornon February 18, 1934 in Harlem, New York City, United States, is Writer. Audre Lorde was a noted Afro-American writer, educationist, feminist, and civil rights activist. Born a rebel, she never had easy relationship at home, developing friendship with a group of ‘outcasts’ at school. Starting to write poems in her early teens, she supported her college education doing odd jobs and later began her career as a librarian. She found teaching as satisfying as writing poems and taught English in several colleges. All the while, she continued to write, publishing her first book of poems around the age of 34, which was quickly followed by others. Calling herself a “black, feminist, lesbian, mother and poet”, she also wrote in prose, lashing out at the injustice meted out to the marginalized. However, her anger was never destructive. Throughout her life, she influenced great many people; both men and women. A warrior at heart, she never learned to give up, fighting for rights till her death from stomach cancer at the age of 58.
Audre Lorde is a member of Writers

💰 Net worth: $19 Million

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Biography/Timeline

1934

Audre Lorde (/ˈɔːdri lɔːrd/; born Audrey Geraldine Lorde; February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was an American Writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights Activist. As a poet, she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, and the exploration of black female identity.

1951

She attended Hunter College High School, a secondary school for intellectually gifted students, and graduated in 1951. While attending Hunter, Lorde published her first poem in Seventeen magazine after her school’s literary journal rejected it for being inappropriate. Also in high school, Lorde participated in poetry workshops sponsored by the Harlem Writers Guild, but noted that she always felt like somewhat of an outcast from the Guild. She felt she was not accepted because she “was both crazy and queer but [they thought] I would grow out of it all.”

1954

In 1954, she spent a pivotal year as a student at the National University of Mexico, a period she described as a time of affirmation and renewal. During this time, she confirmed her identity on personal and artistic levels as both a lesbian and a poet. On her return to New York, Lorde attended Hunter College, and graduated in the class of 1959. While there, she worked as a librarian, continued writing, and became an active participant in the gay culture of Greenwich Village. She furthered her education at Columbia University, earning a master's degree in library science in 1961. During this period, she worked as a public librarian in nearby Mount Vernon, New York.

1960

Lorde's criticism of feminists of the 1960s identified issues of race, class, age, gender and sexuality. Similarly, author and poet Alice Walker coined the term "womanist" in an attempt to distinguish black female and minority female experience from "feminism". While "feminism" is defined as "a collection of movements and ideologies that share a Common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women" by imposing simplistic opposition between "men" and "women," the theorists and Activists of the 1960s and 1970s usually neglected the experiential difference caused by factors such as race and gender among different social groups.

1968

In 1968, Lorde published The First Cities, her first volume of poems. It was edited by Diane di Prima, a former classmate and friend from Hunter College High School. The First Cities has been described as a "quiet, introspective book," and Dudley Randall, a poet and critic, asserted in his review of the book that Lorde "does not wave a black flag, but her blackness is there, implicit, in the bone".

1969

Lorde taught in the Education Department at Lehman College from 1969 to 1970, then as a professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (part of the City University of New York) from 1970 to 1981. There, she fought for the creation of a black studies department. In 1981, she went on to teach at her alma mater, Hunter College (also CUNY), as the distinguished Thomas Hunter chair.

1970

Lorde married attorney Edwin Rollins. She and Rollins divorced in 1970 after having two children, Elizabeth and Jonathan. In 1966, Lorde became head librarian at Town School Library in New York City, where she remained until 1968.

1973

Nominated for the National Book Award for poetry in 1973, From a Land Where Other People Live (Broadside Press) shows Lorde's personal struggles with identity and anger at social injustice. The volume deals with themes of anger, loneliness, and injustice, as well as what it means to be an African-American woman, mother, friend, and lover.

1974

1974 saw the release of New York Head Shop and Museum, which gives a picture of Lorde's New York through the lenses of both the civil rights movement and her own restricted childhood: stricken with poverty and neglect and, in Lorde's opinion, in need of political action.

1976

Despite the success of these volumes, it was the release of Coal in 1976 that established Lorde as an influential voice in the Black Arts Movement, and the large publishing house behind it – Norton – helped introduce her to a wider audience. The volume includes poems from both The First Cities and Cables to Rage, and it unties many of the themes Lorde would become known for throughout her career: her rage at racial injustice, her celebration of her black identity, and her call for an intersectional consideration of women's experiences. Lorde followed Coal up with Between Our Selves (also in 1976) and Hanging Fire (1978).

1977

From 1977 to 1978, Lorde had a brief affair with the Sculptor and Painter Mildred Thompson. The two met in Nigeria in 1977 at the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77). Their affair ran its course during the time that Thompson lived in Washington, D.C.

1978

Lorde was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1978 and underwent a mastectomy. Six years later, she was diagnosed with liver cancer. After her diagnosis, she wrote The Cancer Journals, which won the American Library Association Gay Caucus Book of the Year Award in 1981. She was featured as the subject of a documentary called A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde, which shows her as an author, poet, human rights Activist, feminist, lesbian, a Teacher, a survivor, and a crusader against bigotry. She is quoted as saying: "What I leave behind has a life of its own. I've said this about poetry; I've said it about children. Well, in a sense I'm saying it about the very artifact of who I have been."

1980

Lorde had several films that highlighted her journey as an Activist in the 1980s and 1990s.

1981

Lorde actively strove for the change of culture within the feminist community by implementing womanist ideology. In the journal "Anger Among Allies: Audre Lorde's 1981 Keynote Admonishing the National Women's Studies Association," it is stated that her speech contributed to communication with scholars' understanding of human biases. While "anger, marginalized communities, and US Culture" are the major themes of the speech, Lorde implemented various communication techniques to shift subjectivities of the "white feminist" audience. She further explained that "we are working in a context of oppression and threat, the cause of which is certainly not the angers which lie between us, but rather that virulent hatred leveled against all women, people of color, lesbians and gay men, poor people – against all of us who are seeking to examine the particulars of our lives as we resist our oppressions, moving towards coalition and effective action."

1982

Lorde's deeply personal novel Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982), described as a "biomythography," chronicles her childhood and adulthood. The narrative deals with the evolution of Lorde's sexuality and self-awareness.

1984

The criticism was not one-sided: many white feminists were angered by Lorde's brand of feminism. In her 1984 essay "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House," Lorde attacked underlying racism within feminism, describing it as unrecognized dependence on the patriarchy. She argued that, by denying difference in the category of women, white feminists merely furthered old systems of oppression and that, in so doing, they were preventing any real, lasting change. Her argument aligned white feminists who did not recognize race as a feminist issue with white male slave-masters, describing both as "agents of oppression."

1989

During her time in Mississippi she met Frances Clayton, a professor of psychology, who was to be her romantic partner until 1989.

1991

From 1991 until her death, she was the New York State Poet Laureate. In 1992, she received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle. In 2001, Publishing Triangle instituted the Audre Lorde Award to honour works of lesbian poetry.

1992

Lorde died of liver cancer at the age of 58 on November 17, 1992, in St. Croix, where she had been living with Gloria I. Joseph. In an African naming ceremony before her death, she took the name Gamba Adisa, which means "Warrior: She Who Makes Her Meaning Known".

1994

The Audre Lorde Project, founded in 1994, is a Brooklyn-based organization for LGBT people of color. The organization concentrates on community organizing and radical nonviolent activism around progressive issues within New York City, especially relating to LGBT communities, AIDS and HIV activism, pro-immigrant activism, prison reform, and organizing among youth of color.

2001

The Audre Lorde Award is an annual literary award presented by Publishing Triangle to honor works of lesbian poetry, first presented in 2001.

2003

Lorde set out to confront issues of racism in feminist thought. She maintained that a great deal of the scholarship of white feminists served to augment the oppression of black women, a conviction that led to angry confrontation, most notably in a blunt open letter addressed to the fellow radical lesbian feminist Mary Daly, to which Lorde claimed she received no reply. Daly's reply letter to Lorde, dated 4 months later, was found in 2003 in Lorde's files after she died.

2013

Contrary to this, Lorde was very open to her own sexuality and sexual awakening. In Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, her "biomythography" (a term coined by Lorde that combines "biography" and "mythology") she writes, "Years afterward when I was grown, whenever I thought about the way I smelled that day, I would have a fantasy of my mother, her hands wiped dry from the washing, and her apron untied and laid neatly away, looking down upon me lying on the couch, and then slowly, thoroughly, our touching and caressing each other's most secret places." According to scholar Anh Hua, Lorde turns female abjection – menstruation, female sexuality, and female Incest with the mother – into powerful scenes of female relationship and connection, thus subverting patriarchal heterosexist culture.

2014

In 2014 Lorde was inducted into the Legacy Walk, an outdoor public display in Chicago, Illinois that celebrates LGBT history and people.

2019

Lourde's life partner, black feminist, Dr. Gloria I. Joseph, resided together on Joseph's native land of St. Croix. Together they founded several organizations such as the Che Lumumba School for Truth, Women’s Coalition of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sisterhood in Support of Sisters in South Africa, and Doc LOC Apiary.