Above all, we are indebted to the brilliant fire with which June Jordan shed critical light in her life and work. Although our paths did not cross while she was alive, we are honored to call her our teacher.
We would like to thank Christoph Keller and Jan Heller Levi not only for the permission to publish these archival materials, but also for their shared sense of excitement around the proliferation of June Jordan’s work. Our conversations with Jan early on in this process were invaluable in allowing us to learn from the perspective of a student and friend about June Jordan as a teacher.
The Schlesinger Library is a rich archive of feminist thought, and we are grateful for the opportunity to have conducted research there. Librarians and archivists answered questions in advance of our visit and helped us find materials once we arrived.
We thank those who have already helped this project to have a life beyond the book, especially Carmen Kynard, and Amy Wan, who joined Lost & Found for our April 2016 collaborative workshop and dialogue “Living Room: A Gathering on June Jordan’s Life and Work.” This event would not have happened without the organizing efforts and participation of the amazing Center for the Humanities’ Alisa Besher, Sampson Starkweather, and Kendra Sullivan.
In particular, we want to thank the Lost & Found pedagogy team that dreamed up a chapbook collection that could engage the teaching legacies of Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, and Audre Lorde in a textual dialogue, and honor the kinds of conversations they had with each other across their lives. Miriam Atkin, Iemanjá Brown, and Makeba Lavan were exceptional collaborators, with whom we also hope to be in dialogue throughout our lives. We are grateful to Lauren Bailey, who generously worked with us in earlier stages of the project, and to Öykü Tekten and Wendy Tronrud, who also dreamed up pedagogy projects writ large with us from the beginning. William Camponovo shared insightful connections between Indigenous studies, Black Studies, and Women’s Studies at our editorial meetings.
The Center for the Humanities has brought this project to life. Kendra has
not only made sure that Lost & Found can happen, but has also been a wonderful interlocutor in developing the ideas around this series of teaching-related chapbooks, sharing her enthusiasm for these projects and asking key questions. Alisa has not only worked hard to produce events, but has helped us to make a record of them, and with Jordan Lord, has been a source of inspiring conversation around the relationship between art and politics. Sampson has ensured that our work is publicly circulated to future interlocutors who we yearn to meet. Stephon Lawrence, managing editor of Lost & Found, has warmly helped us to navigate the many steps required to take this project from a series of notes and thoughts and scanned documents to the book that you are now holding in your hands. Ammiel Alcalay has always inspired us to “follow the person,” and to be rigorous in our research, thinking, and writing. We thank him for his support and generosity as a mentor, collaborator, and co-conspirator. Kate Tarlow Morgan urged us to do all we could to draw out Jordan’s dynamic presence and commitments. We thank her for the reminder to remember June Jordan’s voice. erica kaufman and Lara Rodriguez were crucial to the archival transcription process.
Talia would like to thank the Brooklyn College students who have shared their thoughts about June Jordan’s poetry and essays in class discussion and research papers that have remained present in her mind throughout her work on this project. She would also like to thank the members of her dissertation working group with whom she has been in conversation about June Jordan.
Conor is grateful to the 2016-2017 Scholars-in-Residence seminar at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for invaluable feedback on earlier drafts and research on this work.