Piercingly intuitive, eloquent, and caustic, Affirmative Acts is an address to the social, economic, racial, and political conflicts that mar the otherwise beautiful human experience.
In this new collection of political essays, Jordan explores the confusion of an America in the grip of pseudo-multiculturalism and political intolerance. Continuing in the tradition of her classic collections Civil Wars and Technical Difficulties, Jordan acquaints readers with moments of American life threatened by social negligence and economic despair. With her characteristic insight, Jordan unveils how these too-frequent bouts of civil unrest bring out the weakest parts of the American spirit and challenges readers to remain inspired as society approaches the millennium.
June Jordan's wisdom shines through in this brilliant collection of inspirational essays, which will be eagerly awaited by Jordan loyalists and enjoyed by her new readers.
Activist, poet, essayist, and professor June Jordan collects some of her most provocative essays from the 1990s in Affirmative Acts
, a book that, like Civil Wars
and Technical Difficulties
, showcases her ability to appeal to a wide range of readers, covering topics like politics, race relations, the intersections between activism and passion, women's health care, and affirmative-action debates.
Jordan articulates complex and uncompromising points of view without alienating her readers in a swirl of jargon and tired political rhetoric. In the title essay, she writes: "I'm saying that calculated racialization of poverty, inequality, immigration, and education colors these realities so that too many of us perceive these issues as strictly equivalent to this or that race/this or that language/this or that ethnic heritage when, actually, the issue is how we ... devise a democratic, and peaceable, means to go on, or not!" Before she explains her proposed solutions, Jordan follows this sentiment with a simple observation: "It would seem we'd better get busy."
With essays like "We Are All Refugees," "My Mess and Ours," and "Notes on a Model of Resistance," Affirmative Acts places a human voice behind the cold facts of injustice, combining prose and poetry in an irreverent, conversational tone. Jordan espouses an earnest perspective informed by the spirit of collectivism, activism, social consciousness, respect, and hope. --Amy Wan