American Friends Service Committee
Patrica Watson, Editor
Sara Burke, Assistant Editor
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
In Memoriam- June Jordan
Jordan was born to West Indian immigrants and grew up in Harlem where she began writing poetry at an early age. She attended Barnard College and became involved in the civil rights movement while a student.
She published 28 books, which included several volumes of poetry, political essays, and children's fiction. A book of essays called Some of Us Did Not Die is expected to be published in September. The book contains essays on Israel, Islam, and O.J. Simpson. The title of the book comes from a poem that she read in a speech at Barnard last year. She spoke of her battle with breast cancer and about the events of September 11th, which she said proved the need for a secular democracy that protects the rights of "male/female/Jew/Gentile/Muslim."
She was professor of African-American studies at the University of California Berkeley, where she began teaching in 1989. At Berkeley, she founded the group Poetry for the People, which encourages poetry and writing by young people and others in the community. Poetry for the People trains undergraduates to take poetry to community groups as a form of political empowerment.
She received many honors, including a Rockefeller Grant for Creative Writing and congressional recognition for her work in the progressive and civil rights movements.
She grew up with a violent father and a mother in denial, yet it is her father that she claims forged her identity as a writer. He gave her books by Paul Lawrence Dunbar and forced her to memorize Shakespeare. In a radio interview with David Barsamian, she said that she had come to terms with her father, stating, "He didn't know what to do to try to provide against the failure of his only child in this new land, I think that probably contributed to the violence of his frustration. But that he loved me and thought me capable of anything and everything there was never any doubt."
She took her role in society as a poet seriously, "The role of the poet, beginning with my own childhood experience, is to deserve the trust of people who know that what you do is work with words. The trust of other people that you will not miscarry what they mean and what they want. Always to be as honest as possible and to be as careful about the trust invested in you as you possibly can."
--compiled from The New York Times, SignonSan
Diego.com, and MediaBeat
INTIFADA INCANTATION: POEM #8 FOR b.b.L.
I SAID I LOVED YOU AND I WANTED
I WANTED YOU
YOU SAY YOU LOVE ME
AND I HAVE BEGUN
I AM TASTING MYSELF
from Kissing God Goodbye by June Jordan
For Alice Walker
Redwood grove and war
I say, "God! It's all so huge."
Copyright 1997 June Jordan