June Jordan Dies


June Jordan died on June 14th, 2002. She had fought a long, courageous battle with cancer. There is so much that can and must be said about this remarkable woman’s life. Even in the final months she continued to write and edit. She had the most beautiful laugh in the world. She is America’s most published African American author.

But in the early 1980s, when she was in full stride and had a world reputation, the New York Times told her they would never publish a piece by her again, her agent dropped her and her publisher refused to keep any of her books in print.

Why?

Because June had taken a firm, public stand in support of the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people.

Her words could melt your heart and fire the imagination. But she had a spine of steel and a deep flowing passion for justice..

Just before September 11th, 2000, June spoke at length with Alternative Radio’s David Barsamian and presented a plan to end Israeli occupation and repression of the Palestinians. She refered to the frustration and rage of many of her students from the Middle East, and with shocking foresight, predicted that if US and Israeli policy continued to demean and destroy the lives and the human dignity of the Palestinian people, someone would strike back.

The second audio piece, “Poetry and Politics,” was presented at the Universtiy of Colorado in October 2000. June reads from “Soldier,” her autobiography of the first 12 years of her life. She applies her poetic wit to topics ranging from the gun lobby, racial profiling, the Middle East and her struggle with cancer. She also offers a scathing retort to the Grammy awarded rapper with her poem “Owed to Eminem.”

In the third, video interview, June talks about her autobiography Soldier, A Poet’s Childhood, her writing life and her political growth.

Our presentation is in memory of this much loved sister and comrade
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June Jordan on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
June Jordan on Poetry and Politics
June Jordan on Her Childhood, her Writing Life

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