His Own Where

His Own Where


June Jordan
The only young adult book by June Jordan, rediscovered and introduced by Sapphire.

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Paperback Edition
Publication Date: 05-01-2010

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Introduction by Sapphire

When His Own Where was first published in 1971, it gained both praise and notoriety. A finalist for the National Book Award, a New York Times Most Outstanding Book, and an American Library Association's Best Book for that year, June Jordan’s first young adult novel was considered controversial for being written entirely in Black English. Would children be encouraged to shirk the mastery of standard English, or would they, as Jordan proposed, become more engaged in a story about urban survival and the power of love, written as people actually speak?

His Own Where is the story of Buddy, a fifteen-year-old boy whose world is spinning out of control. He meets Angela, whose angry parents accuse her of being "wild." When life falls apart for Buddy and his father, and when Angela is attacked at home, they take action to create their own way of staying alive in Brooklyn. In the process, the two find refuge in one another and learn that love is real and necessary. 

"A novel that's at once tough and romantic." —New York Times

"There must be bridges if we are to reach our young. His Own Where promises to be one." —New York Times Book Review

“This June Jordan treasure is a rare piece of fiction from one of America's most vital poets and political essayists—a tender story of young love in the face of generational opposition, a modern-day Romeo and Juliet that sings and sways." —Walter Mosley, author of Cinnamon Kiss

“Jordan makes us think of Akhmatova, of Neruda. She is among the bravest of us, the most outraged. She feels for all. She is the universal poet.” —Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple

“Whatever her theme or mode, June Jordan continually delineates the conditions of survival—of the body, and mind, and the heart.” —Adrienne Rich, author of Diving into the Wreck

“In political journalism that cuts like razors, in essays that blast the darkness of confusion with relentless light; in poetry that looks as closely into lilac buds as into death’s mouth . . . she has comforted, explained, described, wrestled with, taught and made us laugh out loud before we wept. . . . I am talking about a span of forty years of tireless activism coupled with and fueled by flawless art.” —Toni Morrison, author of The Bluest Eye