Monday, February 18, 2013

Black Women in History: The Warrior Poet, Audre Lorde

Lorde's Beautiful Dark Mouth
by Najeema Iman

Gambda Adisa I am,
Fighting a war against the tyrannies of silence,
I seek to make aware,
I am black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet
I the magnitude of my lifes process
Culminated by my blackness.
They sought to confine
Creating a shroud of blindness
My words were twisted, 
They said I was tongue tied,
But life is a masterpiece.
Sonnet of pronouns, nouns, and verbs which were citizens of different countries.
Words are in me,
It is my gift to the world.
I will not be oppressed by the man.
I have a relationship with words
holding the occupation of life
i combine the nature of all
find my medium in overcoming racism.
I have 
Because I was give n
I am Coal
My rage is louder than words
I am a diamond in the rough 
I'm comin' out.
I talk of The Woman Thing 
Cause' I am my ancestors.

I wrote the poem above five years ago for a final project in college. Audre Lorde was unknown to me at the time, but as I read some of her work I was inspired. She, like me, embraces the strands on her head, yet unlike me embraces her uniqueness with pride. I struggle at times to embrace the artistic nature that God created in me.

Audre Lorde was a phenomenal writer and political activist born to Caribbean-American parents in New York City on February 18, 1934. Her passion for writing developed at an early age. After writing her first poem in eighth grade, it was later published in Seventeen magazine. Despite being legally blind, she pursued education and supported herself by doing various jobs including factory work and ghost writing. She was lesbian, poet, and an envelope pusher whose early works were published by Langston Hughes, foreign anthologies, and other African American publications. Some of her most popular collections of poetry include Coal and The Black Unicorn. In the 60s she was heavily involved in civil rights, anti-war, and the feminist movement. Along with Barbara Smith she founded the Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press. She died from breast cancer, which she chronicled in her non-fiction work, The Cancer Journals, on November 17, 1992.

I have not had the opportunity to read many of her works, but they are definitely on my list for this year.  Audre Lorde would have been 79 years old today.

For more on Audre Lorde check out some of these links....

Peace and Love,

Najeema Iman, I AM Curly Locks(Learning to celebrate the warriors before me)

No comments:

Post a Comment