I don’t know if Audre used to call those Lesbian party lines back in the day. My hunch is that probably not so much, because she did a lot of her work in the time of a telephone monopoly, when long-distance service was really expensive and I can tell you…plenty of telephone disconnection services show up in the archived papers of Black feminist writers. Considering the miracles that Lorde participated in with sister-comrades, Pat Parker, Barbara Smith, Cheryl Clarke, Honor Moore while not living in the same state, or on the same coast or in the same country, through snail mail letters, it blows my mind to imagine what they might have done via skype!
At the same time…I’m grateful that some of those profound, world shifting, publication creating, discourse transforming conversations had to happen in letters, sometimes literally carbon-copied (the original “cc”) to multiple people. Because as a scholar, retro-stalker and Black feminist devotee having those letters available to read and reread means everything. Provides a trail and a trace. How are we documenting our brilliance now?
At any rate I think Audre would be tripping with glee at even the glitch-filled experience that those of us in the School of Our Lorde publishing webinar had in an audio-visual enabled internet chat room in her name! Blowing each other kisses from Durham, to Cairo, to New York City to the Rio Grande Valley, to New Hampshire, Fayetteville, to DC to Minnesota, to California, to Albany…you get the idea. I wonder if the energy of those kisses and the speed and delight with which they are received is having an internet butterfly effect, creating a storm of warrior wisdom and transformation, fanning the flames of our hearts and the ferocity of our words.
All I know is that I wake up everyday looking for another way to commune with the brilliant, complicated, warrior energy that I call Audre Lorde. And these past three weeks in the webinar I have been blessed to experience the playfulness, wisdom, hopeful spirit, critical insight, flirtatious naughtiness, and unblinkawayable beauty of Audre in the faces and typing fingers of all of the participants in the webinar. I am so grateful for this experience and I’m looking forward to how the poetry webinar (Mondays at 7:30 EDT starting June 2 at www.tinychat.com/schoolofourlorde) will print you further on my heart. (email firstname.lastname@example.org for the readings for the next webinar!)
In the hands of the many,