Language of Materials
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Copying. Tapes may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures. No material may be copied for deposit in other libraries. No material may be reproduced on the internet.
Series I, TELEVISION APPEARANCES, 1976-2000 (#1-19), includes unedited material and television appearances by June Jordan.
Series II, SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, POETRY READINGS, AND PERFORMANCES, 1985-2001 (#20-53), includes recordings of June Jordan reading poetry and essays, giving speeches, introducing readers, and in a collaborative musical performance.
Series III, POETRY FOR THE PEOPLE,1992-2002 (#54-147), contains recordings of lectures by June Jordan, visiting poets, and student-teacher poets; and public events related to her Poetry for the People courses at the University of California, Berkeley.
Subseries A, African-American Studies 156AC/Poetry for the People/Poetry for the People, 1992-2002 (#54-114), contains material that specifically relates to the larger class, mostly lectures.
Subseries B, African-American Studies 158A&B/Poetry for the People, 1996-2001 (#115-147), contains footage of the smaller student-teacher poet class. Includes footage of community events spearheaded by class participants.
Series IV, MISCELLANEOUS, 1985-1999 (#148-153), contains video press kits, a film tribute to June Jordan, recordings of other performers reciting Jordan's poems, and other items.
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. TELEVISION APPEARANCES, 1976-2000 (#1-19)
- Series II. SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, POETRY READINGS, AND PERFORMANCES, 1985-2001 (#20-53)
- Series III. POETRY FOR THE PEOPLE, 1992-2002 (#54-147)
- Series IV. MISCELLANEOUS, 1985-1999 (#148-153)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These videotapes 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 in education--California
- African American families
- African American poets
- African Americans--Politics and government
- 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
- Authors and publishers--United States
- Black Arts movement
- Black English
- Child abuse--United States
- Feminist poetry
- Gays--Government policy--United States
- Glide Memorial United Methodist Church (San Francisco, Calif.)
- Lebanon--Economic conditions
- Mothers and daughters
- Persian Gulf War, 1991--Protest movements--United States
- Poetry--Societies, etc.
- Poetry--Study and teaching--United States
- Poets, American--20th century--Family relationships
- Political activists--United States
- Press releases
- Racism--Study and teaching--United States
- Racism--United States
- South Africa--Relations--Israel
- United States--Foreign relations
- United States--Race relations
- United States--Social conditions
- Women artists--United States
- Women poets
- Women political activists--United States
- Women--United States--Social conditions
- Jordan, June, 1936-2002. Videotape collection of June Jordan, 1976-2002: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- EAD ID
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