Journal article Open Access

Anger Among Allies: Audre Lorde's 1981 Keynote Admonishing the National Women's Studies Association

Olson, Lester C.

This essay argues that Audre Lorde's 1981 keynote speech, ''The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism,'' has much to contribute to communication scholars' understanding of human biases and rhetorical artistry. The significance of Lorde's subject is one reason for devoting critical attention to her speech, because, in contemporary public life in the United States, anger has abiding relevance in an extraordinary range of rhetoric and public address. Another reason for contemplating Lorde's speech is the fact that anger was a major theme throughout the internationally acclaimed poet-activist's advocacy. The essay suggests that Lorde's speech illustrates a communication technique, shifting subjectivities, which recurs in her rhetorical artistry.

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