Jordan explores that, as human beings, we possess two very contrasting identities. By doing so, Jordan starts to achieve the ethos she needs in order to be heard and taken seriously. [16], Jordan composed three guideline points that embodied the program, which was published with a set of her students' writings in 1995, entitled June Jordan's Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. When asked about the writing process for the libretto of the opera, Jordan said: The composer, John [Adams], said he needed to have the whole libretto before he could begin, so I just sat down last spring and wrote it in six weeks, I mean, that's all I did. The first evidence of such occurs on lines five and six: “there is no silence peculiar / to the female” (Jordan, lines 5-6). Listen: “I do not believe that we can restore and expand the freedoms that our lives require unless and until we embrace the justice of our rage,” June Jordan wrote in a column in 1989 for the Progressive magazine. The fact that this line proceeds the adverb “actually” makes the information regarding the second criminal was a “blackman” and “head of the local NAACP” have a peculiar note of surprise. From 1989 to 2002 she was a full professor in the departments of English, Women's Studies, and African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In it she describes how her early marriage to a white student while at Barnard College immersed her in the racial turmoil of America in the 1950s, and set her on the path of social activism. Although not widely recognized when first published in 1982, this essay has become central in the United States to women's and gender studies, sociology, and anthropology. She was included in Who's Who in America from 1984 until her death. She was an activist, poet, writer, teacher, and prominent figure in the civil rights, feminist, antiwar, and LGBTQ movements of the twentieth century. The first identity is the common identity, which is the one that has been imposed on us[22] by a long history of societal standards, controlling images, pressure, a variety of stereotypes, and stratification. She refuses to privilege oppressors who are similar to or more like certain people than other oppressors might be. Jordan was inducted on the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor within the Stonewall National Monument in 2019. Interspersing reflections of her trip with examples her role as a teacher advising students, Jordan details how her own expectations are constantly surprised. This Instant: June Jordan and a Black Feminist Poetics of Architecture “This instant and this triumph We were never meant to survive.”-Audre Lorde, “A Litany for Survival” “Black women’s geographies and poetics challenge us to stay human by invoking how Black spaces and places are integral to our planetary June Jordan and a Black Feminist But the rape breaches her trust. The NAACP was meant to protect the civil rights of black people. In 1953, Jordan graduated from high school and enrolled at Barnard College in New York City.[1]. June Jordan (1936–2002)—an award-winning writer and social and political activist—was an influential voice of liberation in the civil rights, feminist, antiwar, and gay and lesbian rights movements. Born in New York City on July 9, 1936, June Jordan attended Barnard College. She continued to influence young writers with her own published poetry, such as her collections, Dry Victories (1972), New Life (1975), and Kimako's Story (1981).[18]. She presented it to them for the first time in a professional setting where they ordinarily expected work in English to be structured by "white standards." She engaged topics "like race, class, sexuality, capitalism, single motherhood, and liberation struggles across the globe." White English, in America, is 'Standard English.'" Her title, “Case in Point,” uses legal language to state her point that the patriarchy’s depravity uniquely cripples women, especially women with intersectional identities, through a demonstrative example. June Jordan (1936-2002) was a poet, essayist, journalist, dramatist, activist, and educator known for challenging oppression through her inspirational words and actions. inspire a changed perspective. The narrator does not demand the audience’s attention nor does she invite the audience to listen; thus, her resolve and indifference tickles the audience’s curiosity and draws them into her words. My “Rage for Girls” curriculum will assign you lots of June Jordan, the Black bisexual poet, activist, and feminist. June Jordan is an ancestral Black feminist bisexual spirit whose radical anti-sexual violence work is one of the bedrocks of my own life’s work to break the silence and work towards ending the sexual violence committed against children, women and QTPOC (queer, trans* people of color). [25][26] The SNM is the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights and history,[27] and the wall’s unveiling was timed to take place during the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.[28]. "[6], After attending Brooklyn's Midwood High School for a year,[4] Jordan enrolled in Northfield Mount Hermon School, an elite preparatory school in New England. [1] She subsequently followed her husband to the University of Chicago,[1] where she pursued graduate studies in anthropology. She explores her complicated relationship with her father, who encouraged her to read broadly and memorize passages of classical texts, but who would also beat her for the slightest misstep and call her "damn black devil child". It was published posthumously. June Millicent Jordan was a Caribbean-American poet, novelist, journalist, biographer, dramatist, teacher and committed activist. Between 1968 and 1978 she taught at Yale University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Connecticut College. "[21] Vacationing in the Bahamas, Jordan finds that the shared oppression under race, class, and/or gender is not a sufficient basis for solidarity. Just as the title “Case in Point” suggest, the narrator’s argument is proved within the example itself. '[31], American poet, essayist, playwright, feminist, bisexual activist, June Jordan, "On Bisexuality and Cultural Pluralism", in, I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, Associated Students of the University of California, National Association of Black Journalists, Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Writers Award, "June Jordan, 65, Poet and Political Activist", "Nobody Mean More to Me Than You and the Future of Willie Jordan", "San Francisco Unified School District, Superintendent's Proposal", "National LGBTQ Wall of Honor unveiled at Stonewall Inn", "National LGBTQ Wall of Honor to be unveiled at historic Stonewall Inn", "Groups seek names for Stonewall 50 honor wall". Because Jordan the narrator’s credibility, so too is her argument made credible, thus, audience becomes inclined to pay attention. [24] A conference room was named for her in the University of California, Berkeley's Eshleman Hall, which is used by the Associated Students of the University of California. “Stradling” and “forcing” speed up the scene until “while” (Jordan, line 20) breaks the rhythm and the past tense verbs “rammed,” “described,” and “shouted” reduce the last lines to a crawl. [6] In her 1986 essay "For My American Family", Jordan explores the many conflicts in growing up as the child of Jamaican immigrant parents, whose visions of their daughter's future far exceeded the urban ghettos of her present. Her title, “Case in Point,” uses legal language to state her point that the patriarchy’s depravity uniquely cripples women, especially women with intersectional identities, through a … [18] Passionate about feminist and Black issues, Jordan "spent her life stitching together the personal and political so the seams didn't show." – June Jordan Learn more about June Jordan here: https: ... Jan 5 - Quote: “I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black: it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though … She also won the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Writers Award from 1995 to 1998, as well as the Ground Breakers-Dream Makers Award from The Woman's Foundation in 1994. Jordan began her teaching career in 1967 at the City College of New York. She is among the bravest of us, the most outraged. “Stradling,” (Jordan, line16) unclear whether acting as a participle or a verb, and “forcing,” (Jordan, line 19) describing “his […] powerful left hand,” (Jordan, line 18) are both present sense and in action. Rich left her husband shortly before his 1970 suicide, having affairs with a juicy roster of characters including June Jordan, Susan Sontag, and her therapist, Lilly Engler, for whom she wrote the famous sequence Twenty-One Love Poems, one of the book’s most unexpected revelations. [9] Throughout her education, Jordan became "completely immersed in a white universe"[10] by attending predominantly white schools; however, she was also able to construct and develop her identity as a black American and a writer. She became the director of The Poetry Center at SUNY at Stony Brook and was an English professor there from 1978 to 1989. At about the same time, Jordan’s career began to take off. While the words themselves create a conversational tone, they serve the purpose of explaining an extreme scene of sexual violence. Moore, Honor. Nor was I ever assigned a single woman to study as a thinker, or writer, or poet, or life force. ↑ 28: Alexis Pauline Gumbs, “June Jordan Solves the Energy Crisis: Love is Lifeforce” in The Feminist Wire, March 23, 2016. [7] Jordan's mother died by suicide, as is mentioned in On Call: Political Essays. Jordan describes the complexities of her early childhood in her 2000 memoir, Soldier: A Poet's Childhood. that another one of my poetic sheroes, the great June Jordan, founder of Poetry for the People writes in her tender poem, Poem for My Love. She is the universal poet. If Jordan portrayed the narrator as exuding too much femininity, the argument would have lost credibility. "Bisexuals Worthy of Celebration During Black History Month: June Jordan", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=June_Jordan&oldid=993630249, Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry winners, University of California, Berkeley College of Letters and Science faculty, Articles with incomplete citations from December 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2015, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Michael Meyer (married 1955, divorced 1965), This page was last edited on 11 December 2020, at 16:54. Interracial marriages faced considerable opposition at the time, and Jordan and her husband divorced after ten and a half years, leaving Jordan to support their son. (41). [1] She also identified as bisexual in her writing, which she refused to deny, even when this status was stigmatized.[1][13]. Borderlands (1987) June Jordan (1936–2002) Jordan was an activist, writer, poet, and teacher. Poet, activist, teacher, and essayist, she was a prolific, passionate and influential voice for liberation. She feels for all of us. [30], In a borough that has landmarks for the writers Thomas Wolfe, W. H. Auden, and Henry Miller, to name just three, there ought to be a street in Bed-Stuy called June Jordan Place, and maybe a plaque reading, 'A Poet and Soldier for Humanity Was Born Here. “I have decided I have something to say” (Jordan, line 7) breaks the silence in a matter of fact voice that is both nonchalant and definitive. She merely “decided” that she has “something to say” and anyone is free to listen at their own will. When reading this poem, I was inspired and shaken by how powerful and moving it was, and how Jordan managed to get such a graphic and empowering message across through the reading of her poem. [8] Jordan recalls her father telling her: "There was a war against colored people, I had to become a soldier. In her 1982 classic personal essay "Report from the Bahamas", Jordan reflects on her travel experiences, various interactions, and encounters while in The Bahamas. When people are commanded to do something, often their first impulse is to rebel against it. Hence, the colors, “white” and “black” appear separate from the act. Jordan achieves ethos in this line. Poetry for the People is the arduous and happy outcome of practical, day-by-day, classroom failure and success. A symposium celebrating the work of feminist poet, scholar and activist June Jordan, and her legacies in contemporary feminist poetics. Poet, educator, activist, and feminist June Jordan wrote the above lines, which powerfully close her “Poem for South African Women.” First delivered at the United Nations on August 9, 1978, the poem commemorates the 40,000 women and children who, on August 9, 1956, marched against pass laws, a form of systemic racism that limited the movement and migrant labor force of many people in … June Jordan addresses the trauma of rape from an intersectional perspective: she is a woman but she is also black. The act is the same. Who is she supposed to turn to now? Jordan was dedicated to respecting Black English (AAVE) and its usage (Jordan 1). [16] She was not only a political activist and a poet, but she wrote children's books as well. [15] At Berkeley, she founded the "Poetry for the People" program in 1991. Jordan reveals several issues as well as important terms regarding race, class, and gender identity. [30], Whatever her theme or mode, June Jordan continually delineates the conditions of survival—of the body, and mind, and the heart. When people are told something is going to happen and they are not commanded to join nor offered an invitation, often, curiosity and the human desire for inclusion leads them into action whether they realize it or not. Feminist Poetics: Legacies of June Jordan A symposium celebrating the work of feminist poet, scholar and activist June Jordan, and her legacies in contemporary feminist poetics. Jordan begins the final stanza with the shortest sentence in the entire poem: “he was being rhetorical” (Jordan, line 35).This quippy line follows a lengthy description of a horrifying incident, and in the context of the preceding question,  “d’ya want to swallow my big dick; well, do ya?” (Jordan, lines 23-4) the line appears to state the obvious, but it serves a much greater purpose. Audio collection of June Jordan, 1970-2000. Jordan was known as "the Poet of the People". Once again, Jordan enters into a grim topic through irony. In her writing she explored issues of gender, race, immigration, and representation. This Instant: June Jordan and a Black Feminist Poetics of Architecture - Free download as Word Doc (.doc), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. This form of struggle and protest poetry, written by June Jordan (Poem about My Rights, 2015) truly captures and speaks for the voice of the oppressed and silent women in South Africa. I must make the connection real between me and these strangers everywhere before those other clouds unify this ragged bunch of us, too late.[22]. ↑ 29 In thinking about these last few weeks in the strange ever shifting times of COVID-19, I need these quiet peaceful poems as well as the mournful and hopeful pieces. She was also an essayist, columnist for The Progressive, novelist, biographer, and librettist for the musical/opera I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, composed by John Adams and produced by Peter Sellars. June Jordan, “The Creative Spirit and Children’s Literature” in Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines (PM Press, 2016). 1936–2002. [18] Her poetry, essays, plays, journalism, and children's literature integrated these issues with her own experience, offering commentary that was both insightful and instructive. And it matters because June Jordan’s architecture, her development of a black feminist practice that centers how we create and transform space is a key part of her contribution to our political imaginary and challenges all of those who recognize and celebrate and live inside her legacy to think and act rigorously when it comes to space. 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