Both born on February 18, Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde have changed the American literary canon by creating a space for black women and their narratives. With their riveting novels and sometimes controversial stances, Morrison and Lorde gave quite a few different voices to black women and their struggle from the 60s until today. Born to Caribbean parents, Audre Lorde taught black women to be multi-dimensional in their public and personal lives. Toni Morrison created a space for women to not subscribe to mandatory feminism while still poking at the influence of patriarchy. Celebrating their shared birthday, here are 15 life lessons we have learned from the work of both Morrison and Lorde.
Lesson #1: The Importance of Letting Go
At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don’t need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens — that letting go — you let go because you can.
– Toni Morrison, Tar Baby