“Americans have begun to understand that trouble does not start somewhere on the other side of town. It seems to originate inside the absolute middle of the homemade cherry pie.”
~June Jordan (1936-2002)
This week on From the Vault, we focus on the voice of poet and author June Jordan. Certainly one of the most-published African American writers, she tackled all subjects in her work: social issues, sexual issues, political issues, relations between the powerful and the powerless, gender issues and gender roles, among others. Her work is filled with the issues of our time, and laid out before us in beatiful rhythmic language.
Specifically, we’re concentrating on the period form 1968 to 1977. This is the period of time when she published her first book of poetry, entitled Who Look At Me, and her fame began to spread out of the African American community and into White America. It is also the period of time when June Jordan evolved emotionally from using mostly anger to drive her, to a time when love ruled her actions. After this period of evolution, she wrote her most famous works.
This first half of this week’s episode explores June Jordan’s transformation over ten years through newly restored and digitized audio from deep within Pacifica Radio Archives’ vault. The second half finds us visiting with Valerie Kinloch, author of Still Seeking an Attitude: Critical Reflections on the Work of June Jordan. Kinloch remembers Jordan and her work, and explains why the years 1968 through 1977 were such a critical period for this great American author.
Archival recordings used in this week’s episode, June Jordan:
BB3788.12 A Conversation with June Jordan MORE INFO
IZ0354 June Jordan Interview MORE INFO
WZ0124 To Create Love With Dry Eyes MORE INFO
PZ0554a-c The June Jordan Tribute Collection 3 CD Set MORE INFO
Click here to purchase a copy of this program or learn more about and purchase copies of the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.
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