We were different. Being gay-girls together was not enough. Being Black together was not enough. Being Black women together was not enough.
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Being Black dykes together was not enough. I remember how being young and Black and gay and lonely felt. Lorde uses this book to explore the women that have left a powerful mark on her.
She starts at the beginning and describes her life while she was growing up and living with her mother and father in New York. Her mother was very concerned with keeping up a certain image and could not be seen as helpless.
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People would spit on Lorde as a child sometimes when they were walking in the city. Her mother would tell her that they inconsiderately spat into the wind.
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She needed to veil the fact that her child was being subjected to a force, racism, that her mother was so utterly helpless to control. Lorde describes her mother with a mixture of deep love and admiration entwined with a darker side of separation, loneliness and pain. She then explores one of her most powerful friendships which is an important thread throughout her experiences. Gennie killed herself before Lorde graduated from high school and this deeply loss affected Lorde. Silence is a struggle that has faced all of the authors that I have read.
Lorde discusses the silence that comes with being Black and a gay-girl.
Her white friends and lovers did not recognize the differences that existed between them and their experiences and therefore could not be an outlet for Lorde to express this, which often left her with silence. They thought that as gay-girls, together as outsiders, they experienced the same type and level of alienation.
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