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Weekly Feminist Cheat Sheet: Happy Birthday Audre Lorde

Today is poet, black, lesbian, writer, and warrior Audre Lorde’s birthday.

Lorde is the majestic teacher I never had in real life but who is still the source of much of my own personal and political growth — and who somehow speaks to me during my highs and lows week after week. Here are a few of her essays available online. Enjoy your Sunday with them.

In other things good for the soul, “Black Panther,” Marvel’s first film directed by a black American, came out on Friday crushing box office records. I won’t see it until tonight (and feel like a total fraud for waiting a whole two days) but I am living for the joyous videos coming out of excited audiences across the world, the voter registration drives happening at theaters (need to register to vote? Text WAKANDA to 91990),  the dope analysis of what a movie like this means in 2018 (including our very own Sesali on trusting black women), and this fantastic viewing and discussion guide (don’t worry, no spoilers!).

Speaking of dope women running countries, if Sharice Davids wins her Democratic primary, she’ll be the first Native women in Congress, and the first gay representative in Kansas.

While the media panicked about campus leftists, the far right surged (though the Anti-Defamation League referenced here is also a white supremacist group, there is good data here.)

The number of people torn from their communities and deported has not-shockingly increased under Trump. What is less noticed is the increased targeting of black, African, and Muslim immigrants. Here’s more on the “double punishment” for black undocumented immigrants and the growing numbers of African refugees at the U.S. Mexico border.

The administration is, also not shockingly, learning these tactics from Israel’s horrifying treatment and deportation of African refugees, including Israel’s recent announcement to hire civilians to find and round-up Africans.

Appalachia deserves better: here’s what people keep getting wrong about Appalachia, by describing it as passive, poor, and white.

Last but not least, just before the weekend, a friend had me read another moving poem by Lorde on writing and loving. I’ll close with it here:

Coming together
it is easier to work
after our bodies
paper and pen
neither care nor profit
whether we write or not
but as your body moves
under my hands
charged and waiting
we cut the leash
you create me against your thighs
hilly with images
moving through our word countries
my body
writes into your flesh
the poem
you make of me.
Touching you I catch midnight
as moon fires set in my throat
I love you flesh into blossom
I made you
and take you made
into me.

Header image via

Mahroh Jahangiri is the former Executive Director of Know Your IX, a national survivor- and youth-led organization working to end gender violence in schools. She cares about the ways in which American militarization, racism, and sexual violence impact communities of color transnationally. You can say hi to her at @mahrohj.

Mahroh Jahangiri is the former Executive Director of Know Your IX, a national survivor- and youth-led organization working to end gender violence in schools.

Read more about Mahroh

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