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  • Writer's pictureSarah Santiago

Black History Month: Audre Lorde & Self-Care

I am often asked to present on the topic of self-care and I often discuss how self-care is not what most people picture it to be (bubble baths, BS weight loss teas, luxurious yacht trips, etc.), and explore the 5 types of self-care.

Whenever I discuss self-care I like to include an incredible quote by Audre Lorde: a black, lesbian, poet, and advocate. Unfortunately, her words are so often taken out of context by corporations (typically owned by white people) to to try sell you their product that they are marketing as "self-care".

As a cis, straight, white woman, it feels extremely important that I share some history about Audre if I'm going to quote her. Her incredible story adds so much to her words:

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” -Audre Lorde

She wrote these words in 1988 (in an essay titled A Burst Of Light) when she was battling breast cancer, and being a powerful advocate for mothers, women of color, and the LGBTQ+ community.

Please take 5 minutes to watch this short bio on Audre's life:

I strongly encourage you to read some of Audre's work:

Audre's words on self-care help remind me that while self-care will never solve problems that effect us such as sexism, racism, classism, gun violence, being overworked and underpaid, etc. - self-care will allow us to withstand the storm so that we can continue to survive, and even continue to stand up and fight for necessary change.

BLK Vol. 1 No. 5, April 1989 Cover of BLK magazine featuring an image of Audre Lorde. 2018.108.5Gift of Alan Bell, © BLK Publishing Company, Inc.

Throughout the 1970s and

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