Author Archives: Matthew Frye Castillo

On continually learning from Audre Lorde

This blog post is by Contributing Author Matt Caprioli. Matt Caprioli is the recipient of a Tranformative Learning in the Humanities award for his role in organizing Black Cuir Revolutions: Reflections on Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, and the Bronx, part of the Audre Lorde “Great Read,” happening on Thursday, Feb 25 at 4-6PM.

I learned of Audre Lorde as a bookish kid in Alaska. I cannot overestimate the difference between her world and mine. I had never been to the East Coast and thought Harlem was pronounced with a definite article before it. She would bristle at my militaristic and Christian fundamentalist upbringing, where a pastor each Sunday unfurled a detailed map of hell (at least the colors were stunning — now I wonder where he found that red glitter to outline the flames of hell. Michaels?). White supremacy was so absolute in my world that my mother’s lineage, Chicana and Black, was subsumed to the point that I was unquestionably and categorically white.  Continue reading