This is a collection of speeches and essays by Audre Lorde written across about a decade of her life and published around the time of her cancer diagnosis. The essays are primarily about the different manifestations and connection points that would later become known as intersectional feminism, and so much of this book is present and represented in the kinds of conversations about race and gender in various contemporary online circles. I also think it helps to create the logical, clear, thoughtful lines of argument that tamps down the defensiveness of white people when facing criticisms of privilege, and really lays out the understanding of overstepping boundaries that happen when multiple oppressions are happening in the same space — ie say a white woman not recognizing how race changes the nature of the conversation when comparing her treatment to that of a Black woman or how a Black man might not immediately recognize how gender is changing the nature of the conversation with a Black woman. That material is present here, and it’s clearly a lot of the groundwork or representative of the groundwork for those contemporary conversations.
And so I don’t have a lot to offer there. Two essays that I was both surprised by and really fascinated by were the opening essay about Audre Lordre looking for the possibility of a liberational path running through the Soviet Union (ala the ways in which Cuba factors into a lot of liberation narrative like Assata Shakur’s work), and finding out that there’s still a lot lacking in Soviet style Communism. The other, and I think my favorite, was the complete and utterly lucid breakdown of the US war in Grenada. Lorde is a Grenadian American writer and international US politics especially in the Americas is something I’ve spent a lot of time reading about and there’s such an amazingly calculative reading of this conflict, one that doesn’t get talked about much any more.