A Fortress from Self Pity: June Jordan and Fannie Lou Hamer

Flowers For Socrates

June Jordan(1936-2002) was born on July 9, 1936, in Harlem, New York, the only child of Jamaican immigrant parents. She was a poet, essayist, teacher, feminist, civil rights activist, and self-identified Bisexual. While the students at most of the schools she attended were predominately White, at Barnard College, “No one ever presented me with a single Black author, poet, historian, personage, or idea for that matter. Nor was I ever assigned a single woman to study as a thinker, or writer, or poet, or life force . . . Nothing showed me how I might try to alter the political and economic realities underlying our Black condition in white America.” She left without graduating, but returned later. Her first book,Who Look at Me,a collection of poems for children, was published in 1969. She wrote 27 more books, the last three published posthumously. Jordan was the librettist for…

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