Most of the women were young, Black, together women who had come to college now because they’d not been able to get in before…A lot of them were older. They were very streetwise, but they had done very little work with themselves as Black women. They had done it only in relation to, against, whitey. The enemy was always outside. -Audre Lorde explaining a class she taught at John Jay College to Adrienne, Sister Outsider pg. 97-98
A lot of the movements and people I work with every day remind me of these students that Audre Lorde spoke so eloquently about, for they too have done little work with themselves and for them too the enemy has always been outside. Some are young Black women like those students; some are young trans women seeking some modicum of power on the internet; and some are young white men who were promised the world. They are all very different, but they all have one commonality: harm. Maybe greater or lesser, unexpected or brought-on, cyclical or spontaneous, but nevertheless the thread that runs through them remains: harm.