We are the ones we've been waiting for.— June Jordan
The most famous June Jordan quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you
Like a lot of Black women, I have always had to invent the power my freedom requires.
Maybe the purpose of being here, wherever we are, is to increase the durability and occasions of love among and between peoples.
Overall, white men run America. From nuclear armaments to the filth and jeopardy of New York City subways to the cruel mismanagement of health care, is there anything to boast about?
Body and soul, Black America reveals the extreme questions of contemporary life, questions of freedom and identity: How can I be who I am?
To tell the truth is to become beautiful.
I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black: it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.
I do believe that the analogy for bisexuality is a multicultural, multi-ethnic, multiracial world view. Bisexuality follows from such a perspective and leads to it, as well.
I am a stranger, learning to love the strangers around me
Good poetry and successful revolution change our lives.
And you cannot compose a good poem or wage a revolution without changing consciousness unless you attack the language that you share with your enemies and invent a language that you share with your allies.
The first function of poetry is to tell the truth, to learn how to do that, to find out what you really feel and what you really think
In America, you can segregate the people, but the problems will travel.
From slavery to equal rights, from state suppression of dissent to crime, drugs and unemployment, I can't think of a supposedly Black issue that hasn't wasted the original Black target group and then spread like measles to outlying white experience.
Let me just say, at once: I am not now nor have I ever been a white man.
And, leaving aside the joys of unearned privilege, this leaves me feeling pretty good.
As a child I was taught that to tell the truth was often painful.
As an adult I have learned that not to tell the truth is more painful, and that the fear of telling the truth - whatever the truth may be - that fear is the most painful sensation of a moral life.
... if your heart and your honest body can be controlled by the state, or controlled by community taboo, are you not then, and in that case, no more than a slave ruled by outside force? What tyranny could exceed a tyranny that dictates to the human heart, and that attempts to dictate the public career of an honest human body?
Americans have begun to understand that trouble does not start somewhere on the other side of town. It seems to originate inside the absolute middle of the homemade cherry pie.
suicide is absolute, and if you think you will survive by hiding who you really are, you are sadly misled: there is no such thing as partial or intermittent suicide. You can only survive if you - who you really are - do survive.
To begin is no more agony than opening your hand.
Language is political. That's why you and me, my Brother and Sister, that's why we supposed to choke our natural self into the weird, lying, barbarous, unreal, white speech and writing habits that the schools lay down like holy law.
The purpose of polite behavior is never virtuous.
Deceit, surrender, and concealment: these are not virtues. The goal of the mannerly is comfort, per se.
Freedom is indivisible, and either we are working for freedom or you are working for the sake of your self-interests and I am working for mine.
So, poetry becomes a means for useful dialogue between people who are not only unknown, but mute to each other. It produces a dialogue among people that guards all of us against manipulation by our so-called leaders.
To rescue our children we will have to let them save us from the power we embody: we will have to trust the very difference that they forever personify.
In America, the traditional routes to black identity have hardly been normal.
Suicide (disappearance by imitation, or willed extinction), violence (hysterical religiosity, crime, armed revolt), and exemplary moral courage; none of these is normal.
Behold the heart and mind of Angela Davis: open, relentless, and on time! She is as radiant, she is as true, as that invincible sunrise she means means means to advance With all of the faith and all of the grace of her entirely devoted life.
If we lived in a democratic state our language would have to hurtle, fly, curse, and sing, in all the common American names, all the undeniable and representative and participating voices of everybody here.
But, based on my friendship with Evie as young mothers, I started going on freedom rides in 1966.
Like running trying to live a good life has to hurt a little bit, or we're not running hard enough, not really trying.
In the name of motherhood and fatherhood and education and good manners, we threaten and suffocate and bind and ensnare and bribe and trick children into wholesale emulation of our ways.
One of the reasons I came to Berkeley was because I saw so many students of all different colors speaking so many different languages and ferociously presenting all these different views. I thought, this is the 21st century and I want to be here!
The United States Supreme Court, once a reliable if ultimate recourse for progressive and even revolutionary grievances, has become a retrograde wellspring for enormous economic and social distress.
I wrote those poems for myself, as a way of being a soldier here in this country. I didn't know the poems would travel. I didn't go to Lebanon until two years ago, but people told me that many Arabs had memorized these poems and translated them into Arabic.
I care because I want you to care about me.
I care because I have become aware of my absolute dependency upon you, whoever you are, for the outcome of my social, my democratic experience.
As I think about anyone or anything -- whether history or literature or my father or political organizations or a poem or a film -- as I seek to evaluate the potentiality, the life-supportive commitment and possibilities of anyone or any thing, the decisive question is always where is the love?
If we even tolerate any oppression of gay and lesbian Americans, if we join those who would intrude upon the choices of our hearts, then who among us shall be free?
We need everybody and all that we are.
We need to know and make known the complete, constantly unfolding, complicated heritage that is our black experience. We should absolutely resist the superstar, one at a time mentality that threatens the varied and resilient, flexible wealth of our Black future.
As I am a poet I express what I believe, and I fight against whatever I oppose, in poetry.
If you are free, you are not predictable and you are not controllable.
What's important about poetry in the context of leadership is that most of the time, power has to do with dominance. But poetry is never about dominance. Poetry is powerful but it cannot even aspire to dominate anyone. It means making a connection. That's what it means.
What tyranny could exceed a tyranny that dictates to the human heart?
A democratic state is not proven by the welfare of the strong but by the welfare of the weak.
Our children will not survive our habits of thinking, our failures of the spirit, our wreck of the universe into which we bring new life as blithely as we do. Mostly, our children will resemble our own misery and spite and anger, because we give them no choice about it. In the name of motherhood and fatherhood and education and good manners, we threaten and suffocate and bind and ensnare and bribe and trick children into wholesale emulation of our ways.
Lately... Americans have begun to understand that trouble does not start somewhere on the other side of town. It seems to originate inside the absolute middle of the homemade cherry pie. In our history, the state has failed to respond to the weak. You could be white, male, Presbyterian and heterosexual besides, but if you get fired or if you get sick tomorrow, you might as well be Black, for all the state will want to hear from you.
Bisexuality means I am free and I am as likely to want to love a woman as I am likely to want to love a man, and what about that? Isn't that what freedom implies?
... the histories of Blacks and Jews in bondage and out of bondage, have been blood histories pursued through our kindred searchings for self-determination. Let this blood be a stain of honor that we share. Let us not now become enemies to ourselves and to each other.
I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
The neglected legacy of the Sixties is just this: unabashed moral certitude, and the purity -- the incredibly outgoing energy -- of righteous rage.
As a poet and writer, I deeply love and I deeply hate words.
I love the infinite evidence and change and requirements and possibilities of language; every human use of words that is joyful, or honest or new, because experience is new... But as a Black poet and writer, I hate words that cancel my name and my history and the freedom of my future: I hate the words that condemn and refuse the language of my people in America.
I am working never to be late again.
The thing about genius is it will never yield to circumstances.
Genius regards what's given as the beginning of its need to find or devise something else.