Albany Uses of Anger Woman Responding to Racism Discussion
Discussion question for “The Uses of Anger: Woman responding to Racism”:
In her keynote address at the NSWA Convention, Audre Lorde speaks of anger translated into action as the core of strengthening black liberatory movements. In her speech, she argues that neither racism nor sexism operates in a vacuum but that they are “established”, and “are necessary props of profit” (8) and that anger can be a political mode of resistance resisting these systematic forces. Do you agree or disagree with Lorde’s notion of anger and its power for change? I encourage you to find ways in which you can connect your reading with that of our contemporary black resistance movements.
Discussion question for “Poetry is not a Luxury”:
In the essay “Poetry is Not a Luxury”, Lorde argues that poetry, perhaps, can be luxurious for the privileged but not for the oppressed. Can you explain how poetry, according to Lorde, is a way to enact self-transformation for the oppressive population which can potentially stage other black liberatory practices? Challenging linear notions of power, knowledge and European enlightenment, Lorde draws a contrast between Renee Descartes famous philosophical axiom “I think therefore I am”, with the black consciousness where “black mothers in each of us-the-poet-whispers in our dream, I feel therefore I can be free” (1). Can you explain how Lorde’s notion of poetry and feelings of poetic inspiration can be a powerful and political catalyst for change?
Discussion question for “Naturally”:
So far, after reading two of Lorde’s essays you realize that her works were composed in an era of politically motivated and cultural black aesthetics. In the poem, “Naturally”, Lorde is presenting her pride for black beauty and aesthetics. The poet-speaker celebrates black hair in an attempt to reclaim the black female identity. Can you critically analyze the poem “Naturally” and read it along with Beyonce’s “Brown Skin Girl” and write on their commitment towards empowering black womanhood?