In this moment, many of us are reflecting on the conditions of our society: the uncertainty of a global pandemic, and a national public health crisis are the backdrop of the perpetual state of Black lives once again, in public view, framing the narratives of the insurmountable and extensive history of violence against Black bodies. As we reflect, we are reading, watching, listening, speaking out, holding space with our communities.
Poet and writer, Hanif Abdurraqib wrote about the volume of violence, systemic, quiet, pronounced, chronic, in a recent essay for Medium, “America Returns to Its Violent Normal.”
NPR’s Code Switch aired a poignant 22-minute segment, “A Decade of Watching Black People Die.”
And in a micro clip on Colorlines.com, James Baldwin insisted he could hold inside of him both rage and hope. We’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to hold both rage and hope in a body.
For insight, we turned to Audre Lorde, author of dozens of books including Your Silence Will Not Protect You and Sister Outsider, who said: “When we turn from anger we turn from insight, saying we will accept only the designs already known, those deadly and safely familiar. I have tried to learn my anger’s usefulness to me, as well as its limitations.”
Sharing here, an archival copy from the City University of New York, the rest of Audre Lordes’ 1981 keynote for the National Women’s Studies Association, “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism.”