Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider has sat on my shelf unread for decades. Thankfully, I picked it up last night and found these much-needed words for these times:
“We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.
The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.
My beloved brother Petey A. would have turned 47 today. We miss his light and laughter daily. I don’t have any video of him but these candid shots show a glimpse of his charisma. I’m so sad that his life ended at 46, but so blessed to have known and loved him.
Come on out to LitFest Pasadena at the Pasadena Playhouse on Sat., May 19 at 5:30 PM. I’ll be talking about my experience as an Arab American feminist writer from LA. Join in the thought-provoking discussion and give me a hug. Much-needed medicine in these times.
The new book When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matters Memoir is a read worth everyone’s time. To find out why, check out my review in the Los Angeles Review of Books: Indicting the System.