Lesbian Herstory Archives AudioVisual Collections

Browse Items (4 total)

  • VID013.jpeg

    In the final part of the Old Neighborhood Voices interview with Audre Lorde, she wraps up the talk with a discussion on the drama of lesbian life in her youth. She talks about the difficulties and joys of living in community with lesbians in the 1950s and how being on the edge of society gives you a different worldview. She stresses how everyone should view themselves as an outsider so they don't lose perspective on the true sense of power structures at play in the world.
  • VID012.jpeg

    In the third part of the interview, Audre Lorde discusses the lure of the Village for gay people, black people, and others who wished for an egalitarian environment, and how sometimes they would ignore the homophobia and racism they faced in the neighborhood to hold onto this dream. Also, she discussed in more depth what she thought about the Stonewall riot, and how it felt tied to the black revolutionary movement of the time. Furthermore, she discusses at length the different gay bars she would frequent, their ties to the mafia, and the different women that would frequent them.
  • VID011.jpeg

    In the second part of the Old Neighborhood Voices interview with Audre Lorde, she talks about living around the Village in the 1950s - from the migrators who came into the gay bars just for the weekend, to the imagined mythos of the Village as a place for anyone outside of white, middle-class America, and to the conflicts between the older residents and the newcomers to the area. Lorde touches on what her apartments were like and the rent situation of the area, as well as scrouging together food to share with her communities as a poor person. Then, Lorde discusses the multiple lives lesbians of the time had to live and the incredible gift that integrating every aspect of herself was as she got older. She touches on the Stonewall Riot, as well as the way she had to stop arbitrarily dividing aspects of herself to make others more comfortable.
  • VID010.jpeg

    Old Neighborhood Voices interviews Audre Lorde about living as a young Black lesbian in the Lower East Side (now referred to as the East Village). She discusses the interconnectedness of the lesbian communities in the neighborhood, the imperfect support systems they offered each other when there were no other options, and the pressures of living on the edge of society. Lorde also discusses the racism that was rampant in the gay community in the Village, and how the few black lesbians within these communities were met with apathy when discussing political matters. She also discusses the effects of McCarthyism in the 1950s on her lesbian communities, as well as how she gained political consciousness growing up with the Brown v. Board of Education case, as well as by living near the Women’s House of Detention in the Lower East Side and seeing Black incarcerated women for the first time.
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