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I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings
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I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings

(Freedom Organizing #3)

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  349 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Audre Lorde was not only a famous poet; she was also one of the most important radical black feminists of the past century. Her writings and speeches grappled with an impressive broad list of topics, including sexuality, race, gender, class, disease, the arts, parenting, and resistance, and they have served as a transformative and important foundation for theorists and act ...more
Hardcover, 259 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published June 1985)
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Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
My introduction to Audre Lorde and I enjoyed her essays very much. I sensed a lot of compassion in her words, as well as her desire for understanding and her wish for collaboration and dialogue between people who may feel they have nothing to learn from each other due to their differences. The following quotes in particular touched me:

"We do not need to become each other in order to work together."

" I am constantly defining my selves, for I am, as we all are, made up of so many different parts."
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Someone sent me a PDF of this book in my first or second year of grad school, and I have reread it in its entirety probably twice a year since then. I always wind up opening the PDF to find a particular piece for teaching or emotional sustenance or whatever and then just keep going. The pieces are all short and conversational in tone, as a lot of them are addresses, commencement speeches, that kind of thing.

I know that people go to the Sister Outsider essays for teaching a lot, but my secret tr
M. Ainomugisha
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There’s no time the writings of Audre Lorde have not given me strength, refuge, hope, reassurance, abundance of language. Audre Lorde’s words live on in my heart. They are perpetual. Perpetual.
It was generous of Rudolph P. Byrd, Johnetta Betsch Cole and Beverly Guy-Sheftall to gather this work. I thank them too.
Ms. Online
Angela Bowen

Review of I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lord
Edited by Rudolph P. Byrd, Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Beverly Guy-Sheftall
Oxford University Press

I first met the poet and radical black feminist Audre Lorde in the 1970s at 2 a.m. My family tucked in, I was reading the lesbian magazine Azalea and found myself laughing and thrilled by her writing. Not long after, I met her in the flesh at a feminist bookstore where she was reading her poetry, o
Gabriel Avocado
incredible. excellent primer not just on audre lorde's work and life but on the entire history of black feminist thought. i thoroughly recommend giving this one a read because theres not much for me to add. it is a quick read and i found it hard to put down. im going to find more of audres work because i never realized how important she truly is to me. ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Audre Lorde.
Feb 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful collection of her work as well as reflections of Audre by colleagues/friends. A great place for someone to start to begin to understand her and her work.
Jonathan Norton
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A collection of Lorde's writings on her experiences as a poet, a feminist, and a cancer patient. Being a black lesbian at a time when the movement was dominated by white heterosexuals (and what's changed since then?) a lot of her writing pertains to what would be called "intersectionality" now, though I don't think the term is used here. The book is a mixture of speeches, review articles, essays and journals. Her cancer diaries from the mid 80s cover her time at a Rudolf Steiner clinic in Switze ...more
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Could've read more of the selections, but with Lorde it always boils down to self-definition and ownership of one's voice if nothing else. I figured the collection would echo Hansberry's "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," but it was more in line with the last publication of Baldwin's collected works and musings - much more official (though not as expansive). This is a work I will come back to because the insight is so rooted in truth and she voices our culture in a way no one else could or dared t ...more
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Four stars only because a lot of these works are the periphery, not the core, of her work. That said it's an excellent introduction because a lot of her key points are emphasized and she is memorialized by other literary or feminist writers who give insight into what her work did for the world. The cancer journals had me tearing up, yet they were incredibly inspiring too.

Feb 27, 2020 added it
Shelves: non-fiction, feminist
"In other words, how can we use each other’s differences in our
common battles for a livable future?
All of our children are prey. How do we raise them not to prey upon
themselves and each other? And this is why we cannot be silent, because our
silences will come to testify against us out of the mouths of our children."

"I want to live the rest of my life, however long or short, with as much
sweetness as I can decently manage, loving all the people I love, and doing
as much as I can of the work I still
Tanya Sinha
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant collection of essays spanning the life of Black Lesbian Feminist Warrior Poet, Audre Lorde. Her words kept me reading and forgetting to look at the time. So many places I cried in this collection - 'A burst of light' and where she talked out of an immense sense of urgency and devastation about her own people internalising and directing the weapons of the oppressor against each other come to mind. 'My Mother's Mortar' was one of the most tender peices I've read of a young Black w ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I hadn't read much of Lorde before this book, and this was a great introduction. I can easily see how her writing has inspired so many activists and why her writing is so often quoted today in social justice conversations.
For me it was especially helpful to have the introduction and other writings by other activists, in order to put some of these writings into their context.
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
good stuff
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars because Audre Lorde. If you have other collections, though, there is a lot of repetition.
Sheila Mulcahy
Jan 31, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I am new to this woman I would be proud to call my sister and am thrilled that she was a prolific writer and the list of unread prose, poetry, and collections will keep me very busy for a long time.
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
Other than a few of her poems and many of her quotes scattered around the blogosphere, this was my introduction to Lorde. I have been meaning to become better acquainted with her for some time, and this collection proved I was overdue. Lorde is poetic even in prose; she is passionate; she is brilliant. I loved her calls to action, and her refusal to backdown, even if (or perhaps especially if) it meant stirring a well-intentioned pot.

As much good as I have to say about Lorde, I'm suspicious I s
This was my first foray into the world of Lorde outside of snippets I've read on the internet. what a badass. I especially enjoyed reading her journal from during part of her struggle with cancer as well as speeches she had given. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 not because of Lorde but because a large chunk of the book was other peoples writing- some of which was interesting (like reading Alice Walker's remembering of Audrey) and some seemed drawn out and longer than they needed to be thus takin ...more
Heather McNamara
Anyone thinking of reading this should take note that this is a collection of mostly introductions and short speeches delivered to audiences from behind podiums. To read it from front to back is to experience Audre Lorde introducing herself and imploring audience after audience to understand before experiencing the rest of her work that they cannot divide her identities and that she is fighting battles on all sides including the audience in front of her. It is not an easy read, but it is worth i ...more
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I was absolutely enchanted by this woman's writing. holy shit. I started Reading the other day and has scarcely put it down since then. Probably should have started with something else of hers before this, however.

But what she wrote and thought and lived rang so true with me. This woman was magic.
Jul 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A must read book with amazing essays about the thoughts and experiences that shaped Lorde's politics. ...more
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply unparalleled. Her longer works, her bouts with both critical thought and a bit of travel writing...just, YES. Heartily recommend this.
Camilla Lyons
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow is all I can say.. It makes me think about black women and the struggle..
Rianna Jade
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I preferred Sister Outsider but the commentary on Audre by bell hooks and Alice Walker was worth the read.
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially POC
This is an excellent, at times very intimate, collection. Worth a read.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant overview of Lorde's writing. ...more
Feb 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing
this book has healed me in a profound way and i will keep coming back to it whenever mortality seems to haunt me (even when it doesn’t actually)
Apr 09, 2017 rated it liked it
There are some really stand out pieces here. The collection was very disjointed though. I read this as part of the Global Black Feminist Reading Circle and we had several good discussions.
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Audre Lorde was a revolutionary Black feminist. Lorde's poetry was published very regularly during the 1960s — in Langston Hughes' 1962 New Negro Poets, USA; in several foreign anthologies; and in black literary magazines. During this time, she was politically active in civil rights, anti-war, and feminist movements. Her first volume of poetry, The First Cities (1968), was published by the Poet's ...more

Other books in the series

Freedom Organizing (6 books)
  • The Combahee River Collective Statement: Black Feminist Organizing In The Seventies and Eighties
  • Apartheid U.S.A. / Our Common Enemy, Our Common Cause: Freedom Organizing in the Eighties
  • It's a Family Affair: The Real Lives of Black Single Mother
  • Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism
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