The Difficult Miracle: The Living Legacy of June Jordan

June Millicent Jordan (1936–2002) called herself a “dissident American poet,” and she counted among her forebears powerful voices ranging from Walt Whitman to Phyllis Wheatley. She began writing verse at the age of seven; her papers at the Harvard University Schlesinger Library contain stunning material about the girlhood that prefaced her remarkable career as creator and critic, educator, and activist.

In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the arrival of the Papers of June Jordan at the Harvard University Schlesinger and the 75th anniversary of the library’s founding, this panel discussion features scholars, poets, and activists exploring the many and ongoing facets of Jordan’s work.

Featuring
Solmaz Sharif (14:56), poet; lecturer, Creative Writing Program, Stanford University

Imani Perry (29:51), Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University

Mariame Kaba (47:08), founder and director, Project NIA

Moderated by
Joshua Bennett, director, June Jordan Fellowship Program, Center for Justice at Columbia University; 2016-2019 junior fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University

Introductions by
Jane Kamensky, Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director, Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute, and professor of history, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Kenvi Phillips (7:06), curator for race and ethnicity, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University