Audio collection of June Jordan, 1970-2000
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Tapes may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures. Permission to copy some restricted material must be sought in writing from the Jordan Literary Trust until its termination and after its termination from Jordan's heir separately from permission for access and permission to quote. No material may be copied for deposit in other libraries. No material may be reproduced on the internet.
2 phonograph records
2 compact discs
Series I, RADIO APPEARANCES AND INTERVIEWS,1970-2000 (#1-61), includes unedited material and recordings supplied by the individual stations, of radio appearances and interviews with June Jordan or individuals with whom Jordan worked closely, or had a significant personal relationship. Informal interviews by Jordan include those conducted with people in Nicaragua regarding women's rights, general conditions, and the Sandinista Revolution; Jordan with Buckminster Fuller; and others.
Series II, SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, POETRY READINGS, AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES/REHEARSALS,1973-1999 (#62-154), includes recordings of June Jordan reading poetry and essays, giving speeches, introducing readers, and in collaborative musical performance or rehearsal. This section also includes: examples of other performers reciting Jordan's poems, a few speaking engagements by individuals with whom Jordan worked closely, or had a significant personal relationship, and other items.
Series III, POETRY FOR THE PEOPLE,1991-2000 (#155-159), contains recordings of lectures by June Jordan and student-teacher poets, and public events related to her Poetry for the People courses at the University of California, Berkeley.
Initially, Jordan worked as a freelance writer to supplement her income. In the late 1960s, she wrote both fiction and nonfiction, and began reading her poetry at paid engagements arranged by the American Academy of Poets. At the same time, Jordan worked as a lecturer and adjunct faculty member at several institutions, including Connecticut College (1968), and the City College of New York. She also served as writer-participant for the Teachers-Writers Collaborative Program, Columbia University. With Fuller's support, Jordan received an award for creative writing from the Rockefeller Foundation (1969), as well as a Prix de Rome in Environmental Design (1970). While she retained an interest in urban planning and development, by the early 1970s Jordan concentrated her efforts more fully on writing and teaching, using her talents to address issues of discrimination based on race and gender, as well other politically controversial issues. Throughout her life Jordan advocated teaching Black English, not only as a means of teaching black children to read, but as a method for African American writers to develop identity and voice. She wrote children's poems and books in Black English, including her first novel, His Own Where. During the same period of her career, she continued adjunct work at various colleges: Sarah Lawrence College (1971-1975), Yale University (1974-1975), and Macalester College (Visiting Poet, 1980), before accepting a tenured position at SUNY Stony Brook (1978-1989). Additionally, she taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (Visiting Professor in African American Studies, 1988). In 1988, she accepted a joint appointment as Professor of African American Studies and Women's Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB).
At UCB, Jordan led an especially popular course in African American studies, "The Teaching and Writing of Poetry," which developed into a program called Poetry for the People. Graduates who completed the course became "student-teachers of Poetry" and conducted workshops at various community groups in the Berkeley area as well as guest lecturing. In the fall of 1995, Jordan collaborated with an Oakland (California) community organization, La Peña Cultural Center, to institute a pilot program with students of Berkeley High School. Their success spawned workshops in area schools, congregations, and correctional facilities. She also collaborated with Janice Mirikitani, San Francisco's poet laureate (2000) and executive director of Glide Memorial Church. In 1995, Poetry for the People published an anthology, June Jordan's Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint.
During her tenure at UCB, Jordan wrote and published prolifically. Her essays appeared regularly in mainstream publications such as Essence and Ms., and she wrote a regular column, "Just Inside the Door," for The Progressive magazine (1989-2001). In the 1980s and 1990s, Jordan's writings continued to address themes of discrimination, equality, and economic and social disparities caused by race and gender; they also highlighted global poverty, religious intolerance, American foreign policy (especially in Nicaragua and the Persian Gulf) and minority rights. An outspoken bisexual, Jordan increasingly championed the rights of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. In the last years of her life, Jordan devoted herself to writing and teaching at UCB; she continued to speak out against injustice until her death from breast cancer in Berkeley, California, in 2002.
- Series I. RADIO APPEARANCES AND INTERVIEWS, 1970-2000 (#1-61)
- Series II. SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, POETRY READINGS, AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES/REHEARSALS, 1973-1999 (#62-154)
- Series III. POETRY FOR THE PEOPLE, 1991-2000 (#155-159)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These audio materials were included with the papers of June Jordan MC 513 that were purchased from the June Jordan Literary Estate in 2003 with the generous assistance of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
By: Melissa Dollman
- Affirmative action programs--Law and legislation--United States
- African American families. LinkAfrican Americans--Politics and government
- African American poets
- African Americans -- Social conditions--20th century
- American literature--20th century
- American literature--Women authors
- American poetry--20th century
- American poetry--African American authors
- American poetry--Study and teaching (Higher)--California--Berkeley
- Apartheid--Africa, Southern
- Black English
- Child abuse--United States
- Feminist poetry
- Kinnell, Galway, 1927-2014
- Lebanon--Economic conditions
- Multicultural education--California
- Nicaragua--Social conditions
- Oral histories
- Persian Gulf War, 1991--Protest movements--United States
- Phonograph records
- Poetry--Societies, etc
- Poetry--Study and teaching--United States
- Poets, American--20th century--Family relationships
- Political activists--United States
- Racism--Study and teaching--United States
- Racism--United States
- Radio programs
- Scores. LinkSpeeches.
- South Africa--Relations--Israel
- South Africa--Social conditions
- United States--Foreign relations
- United States--Race relations
- United States--Social conditions
- Women poets
- Women political activists--United States
- Women--Central America
- Women--United States--Social conditions.
- Jordan, June, 1936-2002. Audio collection of June Jordan, 1970-2000: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- EAD ID
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