1924 - 1987
Audre Lorde was a poet and scholar whose impact reached far beyond her inspirational works reflecting upon her experiences as a black lesbian. Named the New York State Poet Laureate in 1991 by Governor Mario M. Cuomo, Lorde lent a powerful voice to social movements that emphasized the unique struggles of women of color.
I see it as historic … I do not hide who I am. I am a black lesbian feminist warrior mother and if I were not those things, I might be wealthy and famous from my writing today.
Audre Lorde on Being Named New York State Poet, 1991
Born in Harlem, Lorde attended Hunter College and Columbia University, and worked as a librarian in New York public schools before teaching at the college level. She published her first work in 1968 and went on to release more than a dozen poetry and prose collections that politicized all parts of her life.
Lorde spoke out against all forms of injustice, and her activism is honored today by the Audre Lorde Project, a New York City community organizing center that works toward social and economic justice for LGBTQ people of color.