51 Audre Lorde Quotes That Celebrate Feminism and Womanhood

Your Silence will not protect you!

Tushar Sahu

May 31, 2021|18 min read


Do you know who Audre Lorde was? What contributions she made to overcome the injustice and discrimination going on with the common people and women? Why is she remembered as one of the revolutionary ladies of America and the World as well?

In this article, you’ll know more about her after reading these Audre Lorde Quotes, which are her own views on society, feminism, and injustice. 

Audrey Geraldine Lorde, was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights, activist. Born on 18th February 1934, she was just an exceptional personality, who describes herself as Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, and poet. 

Being a poet, she used to express her anger through her words or phrases. Throughout her life, she outrages at the social and civil injustices observed in society. That’s why her poems largely deal with the issues related to civil rights, feminism, lesbianism, illness and disability, and the exploration of black female identity as well. 

This article lists some of the best Audre Lorde Quotes on Feminism and Womanhood, and also some of the other prospects, such as social injustices, etc., and several more. Also, these Audre Lorde Quotes will reveal the truths of the society that need to overcome. 

Following is the list of Audre Lorde Quotes, having a deep meaning. So, let’s enjoy the best Audre Lorde Quotes listed below.

1) Whenever a conscious Black woman raises her voice on issues central to her existence, somebody is going to call her strident, because they don’t want to hear about it, nor us. I refuse to be silenced and I refuse to be trivialized, even if I don’t say what I have to say perfectly. 

No one wants to hear a black woman, even if she’s making people aware of the right thing. This one from Audre Lorde Quotes is all about how Lorde refused to be silenced and trivialized because she knows what she’s doing is for the sake and rights of the incompetent citizens. 

2) I’m still learning - how to take joy in all the people I’m, how to use all my selves in the service of what I believe, how to accept when I fail and rejoice when I succeed.

Audre Lorde Quotes

Learning is a continuous process, which shouldn’t get stopped till the last breath. Here in this one from Audre Lorde Quotes, the message conveyed is to learn good things and habits from other people, irrespective of their age. 

3) My experience with people who tried to label me was that they usually did it to either dismiss me or use me. 

Here, Lorde is talking about some toxic people, who can either try to use you or try to remove you from whatever position you’re currently in now. 

4) My fullest concentration of energy is available to me only when I integrate all the parts of who I am, openly, allowing power from particular sources of my living to flow back and forth freely thoroughly all my different selves, without the restriction of extremely imposed definition.

This one from Audre Lorde Quotes is about doing the work with maximum efficiency, and how she used to manage her work in an effective way. She restricted herself, she used to work to make the lives of other people better. 

5) Our visions begin with our desires. 

To achieve any peak in life, you’ve to first make your vision clear about it. Your vision will remind you of your desires. 

6) Some problems we share as women, some we don’t. You (white women) fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you, we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you’ll turn your backs on the reasons they’re dying. 

One of the deepest Audre Lorde Quotes, stating about the injustice going on with the black people, even after being a resident of the same country. Black people have been bearing injustice for centuries and trying to overcome this.

7) Revolution isn’t a one-time event.

Audre Lorde Quotes

Revolution doesn’t come by making a one-time effort, it’s the result of consistent efforts to make a good change in society.

8) I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal, and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.

This one from Audre Lorde Quotes is all about sharing the thoughts going on in the mind of Lorde. She believes that for the sake of people, you’ve to open up with them, it doesn't matter how people will judge it.

9) You’re the one that you’re looking for.

Audre Lorde Quotes

Whenever you are confronted with any trouble, then you might have thought of some people to come and help you to get out of it. That person is none other than yourself, and you have to believe in yourself. 

10) African tradition deals with life as an experience to be lived. In many respects, it’s much like the Eastern philosophies in that we see ourselves as a part of a life force, we’re joined, for instance, to the air, to the earth. We’re part of the whole life process. We live in accordance with, in a kind of correspondence with the rest of the world as a whole. Therefore, living becomes an experience, rather than a problem, no matter how bad or how painful it may be. 

Here, Lorde in this one from Audre Lorde Quotes is addressing us about what actually life is. To live a better or peaceful life, you should’ve to take your life as an experience, instead of taking it as a problem. Problems will give you pain, but the experience will teach you how to live a better life.

11) If I can’t air this pain and alter it, I will surely die of it. That’s the beginning of the social protest. 

If you have a fire to change something, for the better lives of people, then keeping that fire inside yourself will burn you inside. That same thing will help Lorde to begin the social protest.

12) It’s learning how to stand alone, unpopular, and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures, in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It’s learning how to take our differences and make the strengths. 

Lorde, in this quote from Audre Lorde Quotes, trying to make people understand that, sometimes you’ve to stand alone for a cause. Even if you don’t have any support and are getting criticized by the people, you don’t have to leave your stand. That’s the way to teach people the power of truth.

13) If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies and eaten alive. 

This one from Audre Lorde Quotes talks about why she opened up for herself to defend herself. If she won’t do that, then anyone can use her capabilities for their greed. 

14) Sometimes we’re blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we’re standing. 

Here, in this one from Audre Lorde Quotes, she’s talking about the fight going on every time for the revolution. Even, there comes a time, when we have the freedom to choose our time, arena, and the way of revolution, but the fight will always go on for the inside. 

15) Speaking will get easier and easier. And you’ll find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you’ll lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And at last, you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that’s not speaking.

Audre Lorde Quotes

Lorde, in this one from Audre Lorde Quotes, is trying to explain how necessary speaking is. Irrespective of other people's opinions, you should speak the truth. After this, you may lose some people from your life, but that’s not a big issue, because you aren’t wrong.

16) Without community, there is no liberation.

To achieve liberation, a potential community is essential. Without teamwork, none of the revolutions gets successful.

17) The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the shares which can be the basis for understanding much of what isn’t shared between them and lessens the threat of their difference.

Sharing of thoughts, joys or sorrows, makes a bond between the people and makes them stand strong in society. This quote from Audre Lorde Quotes tells the importance of making connections with others, having a better understanding with them. 

18) Even the smallest victory is never to be taken for granted. Each victory must be applauded.

Victory can be celebrated and applauded, but it can never be taken for granted. That’s why after a victory, you’ve to be prepared for the next one. 

19) Tell them about how you’re never really a whole person if you remain silent, because there’s always that one little piece inside you that wants to be spoken out, and if you don’t speak it out one day it’ll just up and punch you in the mouth from the inside.

Having silence in your mouth, just because you're afraid to speak for yourself, doesn't help you anyway. This one from Audre Lorde Quotes is all about raising the voice for yourself and try to achieve the same. If you don’t speak, people will surely put you down.

20) Unless one lives and loves in the trenches, it’s difficult to remember that the war against dehumanization is ceaseless.

The war against dehumanization is never-ending, but not each of the individuals can understand it. To understand it in a better way, you’ve to live in those conditions.

21) I have a duty to speak the truth as I see it and share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigated pain. It’s important to share how I know survival is survival and not just a walk through the rain. 

This one from Audre Lorde Quotes is to speak for the good. Speaking doesn’t mean sharing achievements or telling only good things to the people. It’s a matter of truth, and how to deal with it. 

22) Once we recognize what it is we are feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we’ll demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy.

Knowing what really gives you satisfaction is the first step to living a peaceful life. Once you know what really makes you feel joy, then it’ll become an uncomplicated task to achieve it. 

23) My silences hadn’t protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I’m still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed our differences.

This one from Audre Lorde Quotes is trying to explain to each of the women that their silence will not protect them from injustice. To achieve some liberty, each and every individual woman has to stand and raise their voice. Doing this, differences on the basis of casts and races can be abolished.

24) Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me.

Audre Lorde Quotes

Here Lorde says that irrespective of the situation, she isn’t going to accept it, doesn’t matter how hard the situation is. 

25) 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 have to do.

Lorde, in this one from Audre Lorde Quotes, conveyed that her remaining years of life don't matter to her. The only wish she had was to live her rest of the days peacefully, loving people and working for people's sake.

26) Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women, those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference - those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are black, who are older - know that survival isn’t an academic skill. The master’s tools will not dismantle the master’s house. They will never allow us to bring about genuine change. 

This quote from Audre Lorde Quotes is to make us aware of the reality of white and privileged people. Being an unprivileged individual, you might not stand against all the odds alone. For this, you should have a team of people, having the same problem and situation as yours to give a tough competition. 

27) Well, I don’t want to be tolerated, nor misnamed. I want to be recognized.

Lorde never wants to get tolerated or misnamed by society or any individual. Her only desire is that people should recognize her for her ideas and efforts to make a better society.

28) Pain is important, how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it. Pain will either change or stop. The confidence that it’ll change is what makes bearing it possible. So pain is fluid, it’s only when you conceive of it as something static that it is unbearable. 

This one from Audre Lorde Quotes is all about the role of pain in growth and getting success. Getting pain doesn’t mean that it’ll resist you from achieving anything or make you weak. Pain tests how persistent and committed you are towards your ambitions.

29) To face the realities of our lives is not a reason for despair, despair is a tool of your enemies. Facing the realities of our lives gives us motivation for action. You aren’t powerless, you know why the hard questions must be asked. It’s not altruism, it’s self-preservation-survival.

Facing the realities of life isn’t the reason to lose hope. This quote from Audre Lorde Quotes tells us that, by facing realities you’ll come to know the reality, which will give you a real motivation to try again, put more effort, and overcome failure.

30) The fact that we’re here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it's not the difference that immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.

Here, Lorde is talking about the bad impact of keeping silent for a long time. Silence isn’t the way to bring peace, rather it’ll increase the chances of partiality with you. That’s why, to make a change, opening up at the right time is a must.

31) When you reach out and touch other human beings, it doesn’t matter whether you call it therapy or teaching, or poetry. 

Getting attached to any individual may be called therapy, teaching, or poetry if it adds some value. That’s one of the effective ways to bring peace to society.

32) Institutionalized rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy that needs outsiders as surplus people.

This quote is one of the most powerful Audre Lorde Quotes, which is the best way to overcome the differences. Once the Institution rejects the differences, the country will become economically more powerful eventually.

33) I’ve come to believe over and over again that what is the most important to me must be spoken, made verbal, and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect, what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? Death. On the other hand, in the final silence, my silences hadn’t protected me. Your silences will not protect you. 

Audre Lorde Quotes

Holding silent in a critical situation just because of the fear to speak, will not gonna help you to get out of that situation. The silences will not protect you, it just lets you survive anyhow. 

Lorde, in this one from Audre Lorde Quotes, says that there’s always a probability that people will misunderstand your words and push you down. But it doesn’t matter if you’re working for a good cause, that might help others to live a better life. 

34) I write for those women who don’t speak, for those who don’t have a voice because they were so terrified because we’re taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t. 

Holding silence in an illogical argument is considered an intelligent manner. But, one thing you’ve to keep in your mind is that your silence will not gonna save you from the injustice going on with you. The purpose of these quotes from Audre Lorde Quotes is to overcome the fear of silence and stand for yourself.

35) Speaking is never without fear, of visibility, of the harsh light of scrutiny and perhaps judgment, of pain, of death. But we’ve lived through all of those already, in silence, except death. And I remind myself all the time now, that if I were to have been born mute, and had maintained an oath of silence my whole life for safety, I would still have suffered, and I would still die. 

There is a lot of fear during the time of speaking in front of many people, even if you’re doing everything legally and have rights as well. But if you believe that don’t say anything will save you, then you’re in a blunder. 

Lorde in this quote from Audre Lorde Quotes tries to explain that, anyhow you’ve to counter with death. But you’ve to use your full potential and have to raise your voice.

36) The visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength. 

Having clarity about what you’ve to achieve is the most powerful source and strength, which every successful person could have. 

37) It’s never easy to demand the most from ourselves, from our lives, from our work. To encourage excellence is to go beyond the encouraged melodicity of our society is to encourage excellence. But giving in to the fear of feeling and working to capacity is a luxury only the unintentional can afford, and the unintentional are those who don’t wish to guide their own destinies. 

Telling about unintentional peoples, this one from Audre Lorde Quotes, states that you'll devote your precious time, your part of life, and go beyond the luxury of life. This will encourage other people to stand with you for a cause. Just living for your own desires, doesn’t make any sense living the life.

38) Tomorrow belongs to those of us who conceive of it as belonging to everyone, who lends the best of ourselves to it, and with joy. 

The future will belong to those leaders who are actually willing to create a better environment for the people, having joy.

39) When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I’m afraid. 

Lorde speaks about herself, once she’s clear about what revolution she has to bring in the society, then it doesn’t matter to whom she is afraid.

40) The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations that we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor that is planted deep within each of us. 

This quote from Audre Lorde Quotes highlights one of the major reasons behind the increment of the oppressive situations these days. We’re taught to be an oppressor from childhood, instead of standing against it.

41) I’m not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. 

If a few of the women get free to live their lives at their own means, it doesn't mean the rest of the other numerous women attain the same stage. According to Lorde, her freedom is connected to the freedom of each of the women in society.

42) You can’t use someone else’s fire. You can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe that you’ve it.

Giving the message of self-belief, this one from Audre Lorde Quotes is in order to make everyone stand for themselves. Using other’s fire is easy, but to really make a change, you’ve to believe in yourself.

43) Caring for myself isn’t self-indulgence, it's a self-issue struggle because we don’t live single-issue lives. 

Audre Lorde Quotes

Caring for oneself isn’t for any kind of pleasure or joy, it’s the self-issue. To make others better Lorde starts caring for her own life.

44) When we speak we’re afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we’re silent, you must first be willing to believe that you’ve it.

There is nothing going to happen by itself if you bear silence in your mouth. This one from Audre Lorde Quotes gives us clarity about the thing that, to make a change, the raise of your voice is a must.

45) There is nothing as a single-issue struggle because we don’t live single-issue lives.

Life consists of numerous issues of various types. The best thing you can do is try to overcome it and live a satisfactory life.

46) It’s not our differences that divide us. It’s our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. 

Differences are not for making the other person guilty and treating them like hell. The difference is to explore each one’s perspectives and live a better life together. 

47) Silence and invisibility go hand in hand with powerlessness.

Powerless people usually choose to remain silent and try not to come in the front. This gives birth to oppressive situations.

48) When the desire for definition, self or otherwise, comes out of a desire for limitation rather than a desire for expansion, no true face can emerge.

This quote from Audre Lorde Quotes explains to us that the desire for an identity or definition should come from a desire for expansion, rather than a desire for limitation.

49) The fear that we can’t go beyond whatever distortions we may find within ourselves keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, externally defined, and leads us to accept many facets of our oppression as women. 

Through this quote from Audre Lorde Quotes, Lorde is trying to address the other women that they have to go beyond the distortions from their life. Distortions keep them bound within the limits and eventually they don’t have any other option than accepting other's desires.

50) In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.

The differences have never been the reason for any kind of destruction, it’s our mentality that misleads us. That’s why it’s essential to celebrate the differences together.

51) Hatred is the fury of those who don’t share our goals, and its object is death and destruction. Anger is a grief of distortions between peers, and its object to change.

Audre Lorde Quotes

Lorde, in this quote from Audre Lorde Quotes, tells us the major difference between hatred and anger. Hatred is the reason for the destruction of peers and many things. While anger is just to change something and to make a change.

These are some of the best Audre Lorde Quotes on Feminism, Womanism, and on other serious issues going on, which need to be overcome. Through these Audre Lorde Quotes, you might get the way of thinking of Audre Lorde, and what she wants to do for the better future of the people, especially for women.

Along with the Audre Lorde Quotes, her poems also convey the message regarding feminism, injustice, and the differences made by people. She dedicated her whole life to working in confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, capitalism, heterosexism, and homophobia, to give them equal opportunities. 

The aim behind these Audre Lorde Quotes is to make you aware of the injustices going on with women and the lower-caste people throughout the world. Also, to inspire you for a cause, through these Audre Lorde Quotes. 

Hope you liked this article which lists some of the impactful Audre Lorde Quotes, which might let you think deeply about the issues. 

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Tushar Sahu

An aspiring writer who loves writing blogs on sports.



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