Some of Us Did Not Die: New and Selected Essays of June Jordan

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Basic Books, Feb 22, 2003 - Literary Collections - 312 pages
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"She remains a thinker and activist who 'insists upon complexity.' "Reamy Jansen, San Francisco Chronicle*Some of Us Did Not Die brings together a rich sampling of the late poet June Jordan's prose writings. The essays in this collection, which include her last writings and span the length of her extraordinary career, reveal Jordan as an incisive analyst of the personal and public costs of remaining committed to the ideal and practice of democracy. Willing to venture into the most painful contradictions of American culture and politics, Jordan comes back with lyrical honesty, wit, and wide-ranging intelligence in these accounts of her reckoning with life as a teacher, poet, activist, and citizen.
 

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Contents

Introduction Some of Us Did Not Die
3
The Invisible People An Unsolicited Report on Black Rage
16
A Far Stretch Well Worth the Effort
20
Hunting for Jews?
23
A Letter to Maria
32
Do You Do Well To Be Angry?
37
Update on Martin Luther King Jr and the Best of My Heart
44
Letter to My Friend
47
For My American Family A Belated Tribute to a Legacy of Gifted Intelligence and Guts
137
The Mountain and the Man Who Was Not God An Essay on the Life and Ideas of Dr Martin Luther King Jr
143
FROM ON CALL
155
Nobody Mean More to Me Than You And the Future Life of Willie Jordan
157
The Difficult Miracle of Black Poetry in America or Something Like a Sonnet for Phillis Wheatley
174
Life After Lebanon
187
White Tuesday November 1984
196
NICARAGUA Why I Had to Go There
199

FROM AFFIRMATIVE ACTS
53
Break the Law
55
A Couple of Words on Behalf of Sex Itself
59
Besting a Worst Case Scenario
63
Notes Toward a Model of Resistance
75
OJ Simpson Innocent of What?
83
Ruth and Naomi David and Jonathan One Love
86
Islam and the USA Today
92
I Am Seeking an Attitude
95
The Light of the Fire
102
FROM TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES
107
Waking up in the Middle of Some American Dreams
109
Requiem for the Champ
120
Can I Get a Witness?
125
A New Politics of Sexuality
131
Report from the Bahamas
211
Problems of Language in a Democratic State
223
Many Rivers to Cross
233
For the Sake of Peoples Poetry Walt Whitman and the Rest of Us
242
FROM CIVIL WARS
255
Civil Wars
257
Where Is the Love?
268
Old Stories New Lives
275
Notes Toward a Black Balancing of Love and Hatred
284
American Violence and the Holy Loving Spirit
290
Letter to R Buckminster Fuller
294
Letter to Michael
299
Foreword to Civil Wars
306
Index
309
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About the author (2003)

June Jordan was Professor of African American Studies at U.C. Berkeley and was born in New York City in 1936. Her books of poetry include Haruko / Love Poems and Naming Our Destiny: New and Selected Poems. She was also the author of five children's books, a novel, three plays, and five volumes of political essays, the most recent of which was Affirmative Acts. For more than ten years, she wrote a regular political column for The Progressive magazine. Her honors included a National Book Award nomination, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, and a National Association of Black Journalists Award. June Jordan died in Berkeley, California on June 14, 2002.

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