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June Jordan: Her Life and Letters (Women Writers of Color)

 
 
 
 
June Jordan: Her Life and Letters (Women Writers of Color)
Author: Valerie Kinloch
ISBN 13: 9780275982416
ISBN 10: 275982416
Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Praeger
Publication Date: 2006-06-30
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 224
List Price: $49.00
 
 

June Jordan was born on July 9, 1936, in Harlem, New York, to Mildred and Granville Jordan, Jamaican natives. During her life, she became one of the most prolific, important, and influential African American writers of her time. Before her death from breast cancer in 2002, Jordan published more than 27 books, including Some of Us Did Not Die, Solider: A Poet's Childhood, Poetry for the People: Finding a Voice through Verse, Haruko Love Poems, and Naming Our Destiny. Her work Civil Wars, a collection of letters and essays, addressed such topics as violence, homosexuality, race, and black feminism. Working in many genres and touching on many themes and issues, Jordan was a powerful force in American literature. This biography reveals the woman, the writer, the poet, the activist, the leader, and the educator in all her complexity.

Working in many genres and touching on many themes and issues, June Jordan was a powerful force in American literature. This biography reveals the woman, the writer, the speaker, the poet, the activist, the leader, and the educator in all her complexity.

June Jordan was born on July 9, 1936, in Harlem, New York, to Mildred and Granville Jordan, Jamaican natives. During her life, she became one of the most prolific, important, and influential African American writers of her time. Before her death from breast cancer in 2002, Jordan published more than 27 books, including Some of Us Did Not Die, Solider: A Poet's Childhood, Poetry for the People: Finding a Voice through Verse, Haruko Love Poems, and Naming Our Destiny. Her work Civil Wars, a collection of letters and essays, addressed such topics as violence, homosexuality, race, and black feminism.

Kinloch offers a life and letters of this prolific writer, delving into both her biography and her contributions as a writer and activist. This approach unveils the power of language in Jordan's poems, essays, speeches, books—and ultimately in her own life—as she challenged political systems of injustice, racism, and sexism. Kinloch examines questions surrounding the pain of writing, the anger of oppression, and the struggle of African American women to assert their voices. Attention is paid to the ways in which Jordan's life informed her writings her perspectives, and her contributions to the global landscape of class, race, and gender issues. The writer's major works are explored in detail, as Kinloch weaves discussions of her life into critical considerations of her writings. Ultimately, this portrait illustrates the ways in which Jordan's career represented her dedication to making words work; her ability to rally and revolutionize the spirit of people invested in decolonization, love, and freedom; and her responsiveness to the world in which she lived.

School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Among other things, Jordan was an activist, poet, teacher, and author. Through her poetry, she sought to transcend limiting labels like black, bisexual, divorced, poor, and female, and she encouraged others to do the same. Using letters, interviews with Jordan's relatives, her poetry, and her other writings, Kinloch delves into the woman's personal life so that readers might better grasp the depth and intent of her work. This is an intimate introduction to a variety of historical events and noteworthy people. Jordan's ideas, life, and poetry are described in rich, dense passages that teens might find too academic in flavor. Some chapters are a blur of faces, activities, and outrages, making her life seem like a daunting river too deep to wade through. However, Kinloch ultimately saves the book by liberally spreading examples of Jordan's poetry throughout and remaining focused on her subject's passionate fight against oppression. This biography is not an easy introduction, and readers without any previous knowledge of Jordan's life may feel lost. Still, she is familiar to many advanced high school English students. Kinloch's study will be of special importance to young women forging their place in the world as writers and activists.-Joy Murphy, Berkley Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.