June Jordan was born on this date, July 9, in 1936. She was an African-American writer and educator.
Born in Harlem, New York, Jordan was the daughter of Granville and Mildred Jordan, Jamaican natives. Her father was a night shift postal worker and her mother was a nurse. When she was five, the family moved to the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn. During her high school years, she was “completely immersed in a white universe” while a student at Milwood High School and Northfield School for girls in Massachusetts. It was at Northfield that Jordan “discovered her poetic voice.” Her home circumstances were a source of conflict and anguish because of her father’s physical abuse and her mother’s denial.
During these times as a young girl, Jordan’s father taught her how to box; she has been fighting ever since. This environment resulted in Jordan’s writing extensively about her parents and their positive and negative influences. [Continue reading at the African American Registry.]