Audre Lorde: To Be Young, Lesbian and Black in The ’50s

This Pride month, I want to uplift the voice of Audre Lorde who has played an integral role in my understanding of Black feminist thought. In this recording, Audre Lorde (1934-1992) describes her experiences growing up as a Black lesbian in New York City in the 1950s, touching on subjects such as frequenting gay and lesbian bars in the Greenwich Village and communal-style living experiments. She also reads excerpts from her book, “Zami: A new spelling of my name.” Recorded at Hunter College in New York. Produced by Helene Rosenbluth.

Lorde is Black feminist, lesbian, poet, author mother and warrior. She is a native New Yorker who is recognized internationally for her writings in academia. Her work also speaks to the intersectionality that Black women have always championed within organizing and activism.

“Her published work speaks to the importance of struggle for liberation among oppressed peoples and of organizing in coalition across differences of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, age and ability,” (

In designating her New York State’s Poet Laureate, Governor Mario Cuomo observed:

“Her imagination is charged by a sharp sense of racial injustice and cruelty, of sexual prejudice…She cries out against it as the voice of indignant humanity. Audre Lorde is the voice of the eloquent outsider who speaks in a language that can reach and touch people everywhere,” (ALP.Org). 

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Video: Pacifica Radio Archives

About slausongirl

Slauson Girl is a South Central native who has a love for journalism, history and all things Hip-Hop. She holds a B.A in Critical Race & Gender Theory & a Minor in Journalism. Follow Me on IG @Slausongirl

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