Celebrating Audre Lorde with Activism, Self Care, and Virtual Sisterhood

(Spectra Speaks) In celebration of Audre Lorde, black lesbian activist, writer, poet and historica...

(Spectra Speaks) In celebration of Audre Lorde, black lesbian activist, writer, poet and historical icon, who wrote about writing and self-care (including one of my favorite poems, “A Litany for Survival”), I’d been invited–along with Kim Katrin Crosby (activist and co-founder of thePeople Project)–to speak about my work as a writer and media activist, as well as elaborate on my ideas about using Love and Afrofeminism as a framework for social justice.

From Attempted Suicide Survivor to Media Activist

For my opening remarks, I shared the story about my struggle to come to terms with my sexuality as a Nigerian woman on a very white, American campus. I spoke of the severe depression I experienced as I continually failed at locating any support systems, individuals or information to accept my wholly, as an African women who loved other women. I spoke of the hopelessness I felt when I couldn’t find a single book, or movie, with queer characters or stories that could convince me (and my family) that I wasn’t the “abomination” all the Nigerian/African online forums made me out to be. I spoke of the simple, yet deeply-rooted desire to see myself reflected as a part of society–to feel that I was, in fact, normal, and how that seeming impossibility prompted me to attempt to take my own life, for relief.

Despite the pain of having to recount that memory often, I celebrate my survival and bold critique of the systems that still put the lives of young queer African girls in jeopardy. My attempted suicide may have been the event that sparked my journey towards becoming a media activist, but it’s done so much more; it’s the reason why mental health and self-care are prominent themes in my work, and my writing, and the reason I choose Love (for self, for others, for community) as my framework for social justice.

Sustainable Activism: Self Care and Virtual Sisterhood

During the event, this disclosure prompted more questions (and conversation) about what it means to build sustainable movements. After all, so many of us have been spurred to action by painful and, at times, traumatic experiences: how do we continue to drawn from such turbulent beginnings without letting them weigh us down emotionally?


Self-Love: Planting The Seed To See What Blooms
The Beauty of Self-Preservation: Learning When To Walk Away

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