June Jordan


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  • Re-issue of classic volume unjustly out of print
  • Barack Obama made a line from this book famous: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
  • Foreword by Nicole Sealey, poet and former Executive Director of Cave Canem, is writing a foreword. Nicole is widely beloved in the poetry community for the “Sealey Challenge,” a popular social media challenge to read a book of poems each day in August.
  • Contains some of Jordan’s most hard-hitting political poems, poems about police violence, segregation, and rape, including “Poem about My Rights”
  • Includes an essay by June Jordan in defense of Walt Whitman, “For the Sake of People’s Poetry.” The essay is an argument for the uplift of accessible poetry, relatable poetry, culturally rooted poetry—a mission statement June’s own poetry.
  • June Jordan’s poetry speaks pointedly to the present moment and fervent calls for social justice
  • Jordan spent half a century as one of the most admired, influential, and accessible public intellectuals in the United States. Her thinking still affects us to this day.
  • Jordan’s work was unflinchingly intersectional as she boldly explores the entanglements of her Blackness, femininity, bisexuality.
  • Started the renowned arts and activism program Poetry for the People at UC Berkeley.
  • As readers reach for Black voices to continue their learning about race and class in America, this volume will be waiting.
  • Jordan maintains a sure optimism.


June Jordan:
June Jordan was born in Harlem in 1936 and was the author of ten books of poetry, seven collections of essays, two plays, a libretto, a novel, a memoir, five children’s books, and June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. As a professor at UC Berkeley, Jordan established Poetry for the People, a program to train student teachers to teach the power of poetry from a multicultural worldview. She was a regular columnist for The Progressive and her articles appeared in The Village Voice, The New York Times, Ms., Essence, and The Nation. After her death from breast cancer in 2002, a school in the San Francisco School District was renamed in her honor.