Sister Outsider

A self-described “black lesbian feminist warrior poet,” Lorde had an exceptional ability to transform her “hopes and dreams toward survival and change” into beautifully actionable language. Arguing for intersectionality early on, she writes that our demographic differences must be seen as “a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.” As white supremacy becomes increasingly visible in the United States — on the streets of Charlottesville, in threats against undocumented children and attacks on NFL players (to scratch the surface) — Lorde’s seminal collection of essays and speeches, Sister Outsider, proves as necessary and powerful a tool in the canon of contemporary progressive theory as it was when first published in 1984.

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A self-described “black lesbian feminist warrior poet,” Lorde had an exceptional ability to transform her “hopes and dreams toward survival and change” into beautifully actionable language. Arguing for intersectionality early on, she writes that our demographic differences must be seen as “a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.” As white supremacy becomes increasingly visible in the United States — on the streets of Charlottesville, in threats against undocumented children and attacks on NFL players (to scratch the surface) — Lorde’s seminal collection of essays and speeches, Sister Outsider, proves as necessary and powerful a tool in the canon of contemporary progressive theory as it was when first published in 1984.

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