If you don’t have time to read the whole collection, focus on three of the well-known essays: “Poetry is Not a Luxury” – “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” – and “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism.”
- If this is your first encounter with Lorde, did you recognize any of her words and ideas from other contexts? Did your understanding change from the popular use of some of her phrases, vs. reading them in the larger context of an essay?
- “There are no new pains. We have felt them all already.” (39)
- Poetry, possibility, pleasure, and dreams of better futures
- The importance of class, race, gender in revolutionary thought and action
- “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house… And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.” (112) This famous essay was written in response to a particular academic conference in the 70s; how does it resonate today?
- The “uses of anger” vs. calls for civility (historical & contemporary) in protest, activism, and social justice work