Gavin Tran


Hello, my name is Gavin Tran. This portfolio is called: “Audre Lorde’s way of life.” I intend to have this under CC BY licensing.


This portfolio would focus on the American writer, Audre Lorde who fought for many freedoms in the 20th century. She was an advocate for equality among races and genders due to the times she lived in. She has written many influential works that has captured the minds of many during her time. These include works such as The First Cities, Zami: A new Spelling of My Name, and The Cancer Journals. Some of these works are either poems or prose. These thoughts and intentions to go against the commons of her time bloomed in her years in college/university. Her career ended up landing her as one of the associates of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press. Her poems and prose struck the chords on those who read. Lorde’s technical mastery and emotional expressions displayed in them allowed for her to gain recognition from those around. They showed her anger and outrage for current society. The way certain people are viewed or ways people “should live their lives.”


There are two themes seen from her works. She focuses on the injustices of prejudice of the time. As an African woman, one would expect what type of injustices she would face in the 20th century. She is a civil rights activist. She wanted people to realize and witness the injustices that happen to those who are a different color, to those who are a different gender, and to those who believe in different things. The second theme she focuses on is what you need to survive. What is absolutely necessary for survival and what others believe to be but is not. Such is the way she presents her many works to others.


Self care “is not self-indulgence—it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ―Audre Lorde
“Self care “is not self-indulgence—it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ―Audre Lorde” by anokarina is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

I believe this image showcases the will to do what you truly believe is right. This picture being of a painting dedicated to the quote that self-care “is not self-indulgence—it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” This essentially lines up with the second theme mentioned. This line is from Audre’s work: A Burst of Light: and Other Essays. Being written in 1988, this was the time Audre was very active with her work as a civil rights activist. This was also during the time she helped establish the Sisterhood in Support of Sisters. This was to support those in South Africa displaced and affected by the apartheid during this time or from other injustices caused by prejudice. This painting is just one of the many interpretations on how a single quote from her book has influenced them. The art showcases the very nature of freedom to oneself, to paint how you want.

Your silence will not protect you - Audre Lorde
“Your silence will not protect you – Audre Lorde” by Teacher Dude’s BBQ is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

This second picture is a quote and reference to a book with numerous essays done by Audre Lorde. The quote originates from her essay, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”. In regard to the book, this is the very first essay in it. This quote invokes others to take your thoughts into actions such as she did. The very nature of being scorn by others due to race, gender, and the like will stay the way it is if no one speaks up. This is the message she intended to drive home. The essay, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action” focuses on examining the factors as to why some people remain silent and some others to act. This connects back to the first theme mentioned. She as an African woman wants others to see her point and get other to act.

Audre lorde
“Audre lorde” by dearanxiety is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The third image is of a quote and image of Audre Lorde. Her quote being, “When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” This quote was said in the Second Sex Conference in New York of 1979. This quote intends to give people strength. Give people the will and power to fight for their dreams and future. The picture also elicits a sense of holiness within Lorde. Appearing as she is helping and guiding others in which she is. Connecting back to the themes. It tells people to follow what they want and acts as a means to fight against prejudice of the time. Give people the courage to speak out against society.


These quotes and images show the community that you can and need to fight for your rights. It shows that people are able to do things. The outcome can be achieved. It gives people a lesson in life to strive for things. It allows the community of those who are oppressed to fight back which is a must. These messages are displayed all over her works. It shows people the effect of hard work and what acting would achieve.


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