Black Life Celebrates June Jordan’s Poetry for the People

Black Life proudly celebrates writer, poet, and activist June Jordan and Poetry for the People, the arts and activism program Jordan founded in 1991 at UC Berkeley. Poetry for the People exemplified the late Jamaican American poet’s insistence on multicultural and intersectional solidarity in global struggles for self-determination. This special celebration includes readings of Jordan’s writing selected by Black Life curator ruth gebreyesus, as well as a poetry workshop in collaboration with Jasmine Flowers, a steward of the Erskine A. Peters Reading Room on the UC Berkeley campus.

“Sometimes this will mean that this one room will be throbbing with unimaginable tensions,” Jordan said with a giggle at a 2000 Poetry for the People gathering. “And I say, ‘So what?!’ The big great wonderful thing about Poetry for the People is that we do have one room, [and] we will stay in this same one room together, and we will work it out. Maybe not well, maybe not brilliantly, but we will do our best. It’s one big safe place for people who are really, really, different.”

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