A Poet Who Saw Unity in Oppression

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Warrior PoetWarrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde
by Alexis De Veaux
Norton. 512 pages, $29.95

 

VISIONARIES are like extremists, embarrassing and annoying, making so much out of so little: they identify problems that the mediocre among us haven’t thought about and don’t want to think about. Then years after their deaths we praise them for being the first to say what now seems obvious. This is the way we treat greatness. During her lifetime, Audre Lorde (1934–1992) created a mythic identity for herself and Black lesbians in America and insisted, to the chagrin of many, that her voice be heard.

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