You become strong by doing the things you need to be strong for.
Nobody was dreaming about me. Nobody was even studying me except as something to wipe out.
And that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.
Oppressed peoples are always being asked to stretch a little more, to bridge the gap between blindness and humanity.
I write for those women who do not speak, who do not have a voice b/c they were so terrified, because we were taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't.
There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.
As the light wanes I see what I thought I was anxious to surrender I am only willing to lend.
When times are hard, do something. If it works, do it some more. If it does not work, do something else. But keep going.
Part of the lesbian consciousness is an absolute recognition of the erotic within our lives and, taking that a step further, dealing with the erotic not only in sexual terms.
Oppression is as American as apple pie...
Black women are programmed to define ourselves within this male attention and to compete with each other for it rather than to recognize and move upon our common interests.
My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences.
I find the erotic such a kernel within myself. When released from its intense and constrained pellet, it flows through and colors my life with a kind of energy that heightens and sensitizes and strengthens all my experience.
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.
Hatred is the fury of those who do not share our goals, and its object is death and destruction. Anger is a grief of distortions between peers, and its object is change.
Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat.
Each one of us had been starved for love for so long that we wanted to believe that love, once found, was all-powerful. We wanted to believe that it could give word to my inchoate pain and rages; that it could enable Muriel to face the world and get a job; that it could free our writings, cure racism, end homophobia and adolescent acne.
I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.
In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.
The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.