Google Doodle Pays Tribute to Audre Lorde on her Birthday

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A Google Doodle illustration depicting the late Audre Lorde.
Google Doodle/Monica Ahanonu

Google Doodle paid tribute to the late lesbian writer, poet, and activist Audre Lorde on what would have been her 87th birthday February 18.

Audre Lorde in Austin, Texas in 1980.Flickr/K. Kendall

The Google Doodle, created to commemorate Black History Month, featured an informational video, an illustration created by guest artist Monica Ahanonu, and words from Lorde’s children as they remembered their late mother. Lorde, who succumbed to breast cancer in 1992 at the age of 58, was born in Harlem and lived on Staten Island with her partner and two children for more than a decade beginning in 1972. A tenured English professor at John Jay College, Lorde became known for her life-long dedication to poetry as well as her non-fiction papers, and libraries were a central theme in her life and work. She also played a role at the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

The Google Doodle emphasized Lorde’s own words explaining that intersectionality must be embedded within efforts to advance social justice initiatives.

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not lead single-issue lives,” Lorde noted. “Our struggles are particular, but we are not alone. What we must do is commit ourselves to some future that can include each other and to work toward that future with the particular strengths of our individual identities.”

Lorde’s work also took her beyond New York City. She spent roughly eight years living in West Germany, where she taught poetry at the Free University in Berlin and continued her work surrounding feminism, queer issues, and race and class.

“Audre Lorde was a complicated and passionate woman,” Lorde’s children, Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins and Jonathan Rollins, said in a joint written statement for the Google Doodle project. “She was as passionate an educator as she was a fighter. It was very important to her that her work be useful—and she would be enormously gratified to know that her words are now used as a rallying cry of people fighting for justice all over the world. She also loved life: she loved to dance and to hunt for rocks. She loved candy bars. And she loved the people close to her, fiercely.

Lorde’s former Staten Island home at 207 St. Paul’s Avenue was one of six LGBTQ sites that were landmarked by the city in June of 2019.

Watch the video clip below:


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