Claiming an Identity They Taught Me to Despise

Michelle Cliff
*Rare book: can be found in the archives section for consultation only. A scanned copy of the book is available upon request.* Michelle Cliff (1946-2016) was a Jamaican-American Black lesbian poet, and the life partner of Adrienne Rich. Her works explore the various, complex identity problems that stem from post-colonialism, as well as the difficulty of establishing an authentic, individual identity despite race and gender constructs. In this essay, she explores the boundaries of intersecting identities and divisions between women. “A theory in the flesh means one where the physical realities of our lives- our skin color, the land or concrete we grew up on, our sexual longings- all fuse to create a politic born out of necessity", she writes.

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