90 Audre Lorde Quotes On Self Care, Feminism & Activism

Looking for inspirational quotes from Audre Lorde? We have rounded up the best collection of Audre Lorde quotes, sayings, poems, messages, and status (with images and pictures) about life, love, self-care, and racism to inspire you big time.

Audre Lorde was an American writer, librarian, civil rights activist, and radical feminist.

She was a self-proclaimed “black lesbian, warrior, mother, poet”, who dedicated her life to addressing injustices of sexism, homophobia, classism, and racism in America.

Also Check: Anne Frank Quotes

As a writer, she is well known for the intense and powerful language that she used in her poems, speeches, and essays, as well as her two memoirs that expressed her outrage towards social and civil injustices she observed throughout her life.

Audre Lorde started writing at an early age and the first of her articles came in the magazine ‘Seventeen’ when she was in high school.

Also Check: Florence Nightingale’s Quotes

Throughout her career as a writer, Lorde has authored several books including Sister Outsider and is well known for raising her voice against the oppression faced by Black women.

Some of her famous quotes include “self care is an act of political warfare” and “your silence will not protect you”.

Here is a list of the best quotes by Audre Lorde about self-preservation, self-indulgence, education, and freedom that will inspire and motivate you.

Best Audre Lorde Quotes

  1. “Our visions begin with our desires.” – Audre Lorde

  2. “We are powerful because we have survived.” – Audre Lorde

  3. “Silence has never brought us anything of worth.” – Audre Lorde                                                                         

    Audre Lorde Quotes
    Audre Lorde Quotes

  4. “We have been raised to fear the yes in ourselves.” – Audre Lorde

  5. “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” – Audre Lorde                                                                                                                                                                             

    Quotes By Audre Lorde
    Quotes By Audre Lorde

  6. “Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.” – Audre Lorde

  7. “If you can’t change reality, change your perception of it.” – Audre Lorde                                                   

    Quotes From Audre Lorde
    Quotes From Audre Lorde

  8. “In our world, divide and conquer must become define and empower.” – Audre Lorde                         

    Famous Audre Lorde Quotes
    Famous Audre Lorde Quotes

  9. “There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt.” – Audre Lorde

  10. “The more I use my strength in the service of my vision the less I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde

  11. “Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.” – Audre Lorde

  12. “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde                                                                                                                                       

    Audre Lorde Self-Care Quote
    Audre Lorde Self-Care Quote

  13. “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” –  Audre Lorde

  14. “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde

  15. “We must recognize and nurture the creative parts of each other without always understanding what will be created.” – Audre Lorde

  16. “I cannot hide my anger to spare you guilt, nor hurt feelings, nor answering anger; for to do so insults and trivializes all our efforts.” — Audre Lorde

  17. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde

  18. “I’m still learning – How to take joy in all the people I’m, how to use all my selves in the service of what believe, how to accept when I fail and rejoice when I succeed.” – Audre Lorde

  19. “Once we recognize what it is we are feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy.” – Audre Lorde

  20. “When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.” – Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn

Inspirational Audre Lorde Quotes

  1. “Your silence will not protect you.” – Audre Lorde                                                                                         

    Audre Lorde Quotes Images
    Audre Lorde Quotes Images

  2. “We do not need to become each other in order to work together.” – Audre Lorde

  3. “Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.” – Audre Lorde

  4. “Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me.” – Audre Lorde                                                                                                                                                                                     

    Audre Lorde Inspirational Quotes
    Audre Lorde Inspirational Quotes

  5. “Our future survival is predicted upon our ability to relate within equality.” – Audre Lorde

  6. “What you hear in my voice is fury, not suffering. Anger, not moral authority.” – Audre Lorde                     

    Powerful Audre Lorde Quotes
    Powerful Audre Lorde Quotes

  7. “Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat.” – Audre Lorde

  8. “We must wake up knowing we have work to do and go to bed knowing we’ve done it.” – Audre Lorde

  9. “Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare.” – Audre Lorde                                                                                                                                                   

    Audre Lorde Quotes On Fear
    Audre Lorde Quotes On Fear

  10. “You need to reach down and touch the thing that’s boiling inside of you and make it some how useful.” – Audre Lorde

  11. “Always in the middle of our bloodiest battles you lay down your arms like flowering mines to conqueror me home.” – Audre Lorde

  12. “Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.” – Audre Lorde

  13. “…And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.” – Audre Lorde

  14. “You cannot, you cannot use someone else’s fire. You can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe that you have it.” – Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde Quotes On Feminism And Activism

  1. “Revolution is not a one time event.” – Audre Lorde

  2. “We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit.” – Audre Lorde

  3. “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” – Audre Lorde                                                                                                                                                         

    Audre Lorde Feminist Quotes
    Audre Lorde Feminist Quotes

  4. “The Black goddess within each of us – the poet – whispers in our dreams: I feel, therefore I can be free.” – Audre Lorde

  5. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves.” – Audre Lorde

  6. “I know that my people cannot possibly profit from the oppression of any other group which seeks the right to peaceful existence.” – Audre Lorde

  7. “Any discussion among women about racism must include the recognition and use of anger. This discussion must be direct and creative because it is crucial.” – Audre Lorde

  8. “When we create out of our experiences, as feminists of color, women of color, we have to develop those structures that will present and circulate our culture.” – Audre Lorde

  9. “Some women wait for themselves around the next corner and call the empty spot peace but the opposite of living is only not living and the stars do not care.” – Audre Lorde

  10. “Black women are programmed to define ourselves within this male attention and to compete with each other for it rather than to recognize and move upon our common interests.” – Audre Lorde

  11. “Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge.” — Audre Lorde

Motivational Audre Lorde Quotes

  1. “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” – Audre Lorde

  2. “Well, I do not want to be tolerated, nor misnamed. I want to be recognized.” – Audre Lorde

  3. “The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” – Audre Lorde

  4. “Even the smallest victory is never to be taken for granted. Each victory must be applauded.” – Audre Lorde

  5. “I am my best work – a series of road maps, reports, recipes, doodles, and prayers from the front lines.” – Audre Lorde

  6. “Change is the immediate responsibility of each of us, wherever and however we are standing, in whatever arena we choose.” – Audre Lorde

  7. “Tomorrow belongs to those of us who conceive of it as belonging to everyone; who lend the best of ourselves to it, and with joy.” – Audre Lorde

  8. “Unless one lives and loves in the trenches, it is difficult to remember that the war against dehumanization is ceaseless.” – Audre Lorde

  9. “If our history has taught us anything, it is that action for change directed against the external conditions of our oppressions is not enough.” – Audre Lorde

  10. “In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.” – Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde Quotes On Community

  1. “Anger, used, does not destroy. Hatred does.” — Audre Lorde

  2. “Unity implies the coming together of elements which are, to begin with, varied and diverse in their particular natures.” — Audre Lorde

  3. “You do not have to be me in order for us to fight alongside each other. I do not have to be you to recognize that our wars are the same.” – Audre Lorde

  4. “We share a common interest, survival, and it cannot be pursued in isolation from others simply because their differences make us uncomfortable.” — Audre Lorde

  5. “Without community there is no liberation… but community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.” – Audre Lorde

  6. “Too often, we pour the energy needed for recognizing and exploring difference into pretending those differences are insurmountable barriers, or that they do not exist at all.” – Audre Lorde

  7. “Within each one of us there is some piece of humanness that knows we are not being served by the machine which orchestrates crisis after crisis and is grinding all our futures into dust.” — Audre Lorde

  8. “When we define ourselves, when I define myself, the place in which I am like you and the place in which I am not like you, I’m not excluding you from the joining—I’m broadening the joining.” – Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde Quotes On Integrity

  1. “Survival is the greatest gift of love.” — Audre Lorde

  2. “We do not have to romanticize our past in order to be aware of how it seeds our present.” — Audre Lorde                                                                                                                                                                             

    Audre Lorde Quotes On Hope
    Audre Lorde Quotes On Hope

  3. “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” – Audre Lorde

  4. “How are you practicing what you preach—whatever you preach, and who is exactly listening?” —Audre Lorde

  5. “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde                                                                                                                                   

    Best Audre Lorde Quotes
    Best Audre Lorde Quotes

  6. “There are so many ways in which I’m vulnerable… I’m not going to be more vulnerable by putting weapons of silence in my enemies’ hands.” — Audre Lorde

  7. “We do not have to suffer the waste of an amnesia that robs us of the lessons of the past rather than permit us to read them with pride as well as deep understanding.” — Audre Lorde

  8. “I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self.” — Audre Lorde

  9. “For Black women as well as Black men, it is axiomatic that if we do not define ourselves for ourselves, we will be defined by others — for their use and to our detriment.” – Audre Lorde

  10. “My fullest concentration of energy is available to me only when I integrate all the parts of who I am, openly, allowing power from particular sources of my living to flow back and forth freely through all my different selves, without the restrictions of externally imposed definition. Only then can I bring myself and my energies as a whole to the service of those struggles which I embrace as part of my living.” — Audre Lorde

Famous Audre Lorde Quotes

  1. “Dark-bright fire lit eyes.” – Audre Lorde

  2. “Which me will survive all these liberations.” – Audre Lorde

  3. “How hard it is to sleep in the middle of life.” – Audre Lorde

  4. “If I speak to you in anger, at least I have spoken to you.”– Audre Lorde

  5. “If they cannot love and resist at the same time, they probably will not survive.” – Audre Lorde               
    Audre Lorde Love Quotes
    Audre Lorde Love Quotes

  6. “In the forefront of our move toward change, there is only poetry to hint at possibility made real.” – Audre Lorde

  7. “Out of my flesh that hungers and my mouth that knows comes the shape I am seeking for reason.” – Audre Lorde

  8. “Attend me, hold me in your muscular flowering arms, protect me from throwing any part of myself away.” – Audre Lorde

  9. “…and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.” – Audre Lorde

  10. “I learned so much from listening to people. And all I knew was, the only thing I had was honesty and openness.” – Audre Lorde

  11. “When times are hard, do something. If it works, do it some more. If it does not work, do something else. But keep going.” – Audre Lorde

Sister Outsider Quotes By Audre Lorde

  1. “Tenses are a way of ordering the chaos around time.” – Audre Lorde

  2. “We are all more blind to what we have than to what we have not.” – Audre Lorde

  3. “Because the machine will try to grind you into dust anyway, whether or not we speak.” — Audre Lorde

  4. “…each one of us is here because somebody before us did something to make it possible.” — Audre Lorde

  5. “I cannot shut you out the way I shut the others out, so maybe I can destroy you. Must destroy you?” — Audre Lorde

  6. “How much of this truth can I bear to see and still live unblinded? How much of this pain can I use?” — Audre Lorde

  7. “What better way is there to police the streets of a minority community than to turn one generation against the other?” – Audre Lorde

  8. “No woman is responsible for altering the psyche of her oppressor, even when that psyche is embodied in another woman.” – Audre Lorde

  9. “As a Black lesbian mother in an interracial marriage, there was usually some part of me guaranteed to offend everybody’s comfortable prejudices of who I should be.” – Audre Lorde

  10. “We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.” – Audre Lorde

Popular Quotes By Audre Lorde

  1. “Unacknowledged class differences rob women of each others’ energy and creative insight.” – Audre Lorde

  2. “The difference between poetry and rhetoric is being ready to kill yourself instead of your children.” – Audre Lorde

  3. “Oppressed peoples are always being asked to stretch a little more, to bridge the gap between blindness and humanity.” – Audre Lorde

  4. “Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.” – Audre Lorde

  5. “The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives.” – Audre Lorde

  6. “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” – Audre Lorde

  7. “My anger has meant pain to me but it has also meant survival, and before I give it up I’m going to be sure that there is something at least as powerful to replace it on the road to clarity.” – Audre Lorde

  8. “Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundation for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.” – Audre Lorde

  9. “It is never easy to demand the most from ourselves, from our lives, from our work. To encourage excellence is to go beyond the encouraged mediocrity of our society is to encourage excellence.” – Audre Lorde

  10. “You become strong by doing the things you need to be strong for. This is the way genuine learning takes place. That’s a very difficult way to live, but it also has served me. It’s been an asset as well as a liability.” – Audre Lorde

More About Audre Lorde’s Life;

Audre Geraldine Lorde (18 February 1934 – 17 November 1992) was a black writer, feminist, womanist, lesbian, and civil rights activist, born in New York.

Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, and the exploration of black female identity.

  • She was the poet laureate of New York from 1991–92.
  • Audre Lorde was a professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Hunter College.
  • She died of breast cancer in 1992.

She was a kind woman and had the power to voice out her opinions against issues related to feminism, civil rights, lesbianism, illness, and disability.

Her trailblazing work still marks Lorde’s legacy that lives on through her written work and through people whose lives have been changed by her activism.


These powerful Audre Lorde Quotes will inspire you to be hopeful for the future and will uplift your spirits.

Don’t forget to check out our collection of Maria Felix Quotes and Helen Keller quotes about life, love, dreams, struggles, and relationships.

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