June Jordan

(9 July 1936 - 14 June 2002 / United States)

June Jordan Quotes

  • ''Let me just say, at once: I am not now nor have I ever been a white man. And, leaving aside the joys of unearned privilege, this leaves me feeling pretty good ...''
    June Jordan (b. 1936), African American poet and social critic. On Call, ch. 10 (1985). Written in 1984.
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  • ''Overall, white men run America. From nuclear armaments to the filth and jeopardy of New York City subways to the cruel mismanagement of health care, is there anything to boast about?''
    June Jordan (b. 1936), African American poet, essayist, and social critic. On Call, ch. 5 (1985). Written in 1982.
  • ''... the courts cannot garnish a father's salary, nor freeze his account, nor seize his property on behalf of his children, in our society. Apparently this is because a kid is not a car or a couch or a boat.''
    June Jordan (b. 1936), U.S. poet, essayist, and social critic. On Call, ch. 3 (1985). Written in 1981, on the refusal of American law courts to enforce child support orders and agreements, although they did enforce installment-payment contracts. Jordan's own husband had left her and their eight-year-old child for another woman.

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Best Poem of June Jordan

Jim Crow: The Sequel

An angry Black woman on the subject of the angry White man:

We didn't always need affirmative action
When we broke this crazy land into farms
when we planted and harvested the crops
when we dug into the earth for water
when we carried that water into the
big house kitchens and bedrooms
when we built that big house
when we fed and clothed other people's
children with food we cooked and
served to other people's children, wearing
the garments that we fitted and we sewed
together, when we hacked and hauled
huge trees for lumber and fuel, when we

Read the full of Jim Crow: The Sequel

April 7, 1999

Nothing is more cruel
than the soldiers who command
the widow
to be grateful
that she’s still alive

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