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A Litany for Survival Summary & Analysis
by Audre Lorde

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"Litany for Survival" was written by the American poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde, and first published in Lorde's 1978 collection The Black Unicorn. The poem describes the constant fear that marginalized communities experience in a prejudiced society and the way such relentless fear can silence any dissenting voices. Vulnerable people have learned to keep their heads down in the hope of protecting themselves and their loved ones, the speaker argues, yet such silence only serves to maintain their oppression. The speaker thus encourages the marginalized to speak up against a world they "were never meant to survive."

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