Editors: Conor Tomás Reed and Talia Shalev
Though many aspects of June Jordan’s unique and dynamic forms of work and activism have been well documented, “Life Studies,” traces a through line of her creative interventions to form a fuller portrait of her complex and interrelated engagements. Through essays and policy reports from her days as a housing activist, speeches, her work with children, and texts from her time at City College of New York, this project adds new layers to Jordan’s legacy, showing how she created “living room” to enact a broad array of “life studies” that had great effect on many people in very different institutional, communal, and public settings.
Writer and educator, JUNE JORDAN was born in Harlem in 1936, grew up there and in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She began her teaching career as a poet working with New York City public school students, following a few years of work as an organizer and researcher for a Harlem-based community action program. She would go on to teach at the City College of New York, Sarah Lawrence College, Yale University, and SUNY Stony Brook, initiating courses in Black Studies and Women's Studies and joining students in activist efforts. At the University of California at Berkeley, she founded the Poetry for the People program, which continues to this day. Throughout her life, she was a prolific writer, publishing essays in a wide variety of periodicals and authoring more than twenty books of essays, poetry, novels, and plays about issues of national and international significance. Jordan died of breast cancer in 2002.
Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America Collections
- publisher placeNew York City