Silent Speech In Audre Lorde

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Silent Speech in Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name Even though, she was born on February 18 1934 as Audrey Geraldine Lorde, her name quickly changed to Audre Lorde; “I did not like the tail of the Y hanging down below the line in Audrey” (Lorde 24). She was only 4 years old when she made this decision, already marking her head-strong character, which Audre Lorde possessed throughout her turbulent life. Not only was Audre Lorde a fervent civil rights activist, but also a devout feminist, however she described herself as; “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” and “dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia” (Poetry Foundation). Most of Lorde’s poetry…show more content…
However, Lorde firmly disagrees with this ‘silent’ attitude and throughout her life she spoke out and refused to stay silent, therefore Maureen Mahoney claims that; “The strength and resistance of Lorde’s own adult voice was no doubt fed by these paradoxes of power and powerlessness, experienced acutely and personally, in a delicately negotiated balance between words and silence” (621). It could be argued that Audre Lorde learned how to find her voice from her sister Helen; “I had finally found out what my sisters did at home at night […], they told each other stories” and “I thought that the very idea of telling stories and not getting whipped for telling untrue was the most marvellous thing I could think of” (Lorde 46). Additionally, Helen is the first out of three women to whom Zami: A New Spelling of My Name is dedicated, and Barbara DiBernard states that; “Lorde’s identity as Zami, a black lesbian poet, is formed through her relationships with other women” (199). Another woman important for breaking Lorde’s silence is Gennie, their connection is crucial in sustaining Lorde as a female writer; “Gennie’s suicide affected Lorde profoundly and has been a major impetus for much of her work” (DiBernard 200). First of all, a poem for Gennie is encountered in Zami: A New Spelling of My Name which Lorde wrote after her suicide. Secondly, even though she passed away years before, it is Gennie who facilitates Lorde, to start writing again after a long period of
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