A Litany For Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde


by Ada Gay Griffin & Michelle Parkerson


USA / 1995 / 60mins / Documentary / English

A Litany for Survival is an epic portrait of Audre Lorde, a celebrated and controversial African American lesbian poet and writer whose work embodied the connections between three dynamic social justice movements: the Civil Rights movement, the women's movement and the struggle for gay and lesbian rights.


About the Directors

Ada Gay Griffin

Ada Gay Griffin is an African-American activist working in electronic media and film production. She was formerly executive director of Third World Newsreel and works to ensure a flourishing future for producers of color in progressive media. Griffin studied art, political science, and black feminist writing at Hampshire College, where she studied the works of Audre Lorde. She directed and produced Can’t Jail the Revolution and Break the Walls Down (1991), about political prisoners, and developed Black in a Small Town, a documentary series that explored issues of race and class in semi-rural areas in the United States. In 1995 she co-directed A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde with Michelle Parkerson. She served as first assistant director on the drama Dead Man’s Shoes, which premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. Learn More

Michelle Parkerson

Michelle Parkerson is a writer, independent filmmaker, university lecturer and performance artist from Washington, D.C. and has been an independent film/video maker since the 1980s, focusing particularly on feminist, LGBT and political activism and issues. She has served on the faculties of Temple University, the University of Delaware, Howard University, and Northwestern University. Her films include But Then She’s Betty Carter (1980), about the jazz vocalist, and Urban Odyssey (1991), both seen on PBS. She produced the documentary Gotta Make This Journey: Sweet Honey in the Rock (1983), about the black women’s a cappella ensemble. She also published a volume of poetry, Waiting Rooms, in 1983. In 1992, she received a Rockefeller Foundation Film/Video Fellowship. As a member of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women, she wrote and directed Odds and Ends (1993), a science-fiction short about black Amazon warriors. In 1995 she co-directed A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde with Ada Gay Griffin. Parkerson currently heads her own DC-based production company, Eye of the Storm Productions. Learn More