In A Litany for Survival, poet Audre Lorde writes for those “learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk.” While these early lessons are bitter and silencing, Lorde reminds her readers, who were “never meant to survive,” that it is “better to speak/remembering.” Despite potentially lethal consequences, those of us “who live at the shoreline” and who “love in doorways coming and going in the hours between dawn” still fiercely seek “a now that can breed futures.” In her short, powerful paean to memory and telling, fear and struggle, Lorde describes and demonstrates the necessity of teaching communities of resistance, and of remembering and learning principled defiance. In our current political moment, as we again bear witness to the truths of our suffering and struggle, we must also remember, and learn and teach, that survival is key to collective resistance and is our only pathway.

Take one example, a...

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