Poet, teacher and community activist JUNE JORDAN was born on this date in Harlem to Jamaican immigrant parents (d: 2002). Jordan received numerous honors and awards, including a 1969-1970 Rockefeller grant for creative writing, a Yaddo Fellowship in 1979, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1982, and the Achievement Award for International Reporting from the National Association of Black Journalists in 1984. Jordan also won the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Award from 1995 to 1998 as well as the Ground Breakers-Dream Makers Award from The Women’s Foundation in 1994. Jordan attended Barnard College. She was an activist, poet, writer, teacher, and prominent figure in the civil rights, feminist, antiwar, and LGBTQ movements of the twentieth century.
Of her career, Toni Morrison wrote, “I am talking about a span of forty years of tireless activism coupled with and fueled by flawless art.”