- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; 1st Anchor Books ed edition (October 20, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385492251
- ISBN-13: 978-0385492256
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,628,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #726 in Books > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Regional & Cultural > United States > African American
- #3541 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Civil Rights & Liberties
- #4396 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > African-American & Black
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Affirmative Acts Paperback – Deckle Edge, October 20, 1998
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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
From the Inside Flap
ntuitive, eloquent, and caustic, Affirmative Acts is an address to the social, economic, racial, and political conflicts that mar the otherwise beautiful human experience.<br><br>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 <i>Civil Wars</i> and <i>Technical Difficulties,</i> 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.<br>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.
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Here are some quotations from the book:
"(Nelson Mandela) calls on no authority beyond the authority of the pain and degradation of living in Black South Africa." (Pg. 3)
"Or why do I write without hesitation about the injustice that freed the cops who beat up Rodney King, and then I keep to myself my qualms about the fact that he has been charged with beating up his wife?" (Pg. 34)
"I have already turned away from Farrakhan. I was never there. He was never on my side. Farrakhan runs on hatred. His targets change. But the hatred continues. His views and preachments are not easily distinguishable from those of David Duke. But Farrakhan does not possess a fraction of the power invested in and represented by David Duke." (Pg. 87)
"Back then ... an economy expanding upon proven routes to the development of wealth appeared to be infinitely open. In this context, affirmative action would not and did not seem necessarily threatening to the average white American. As long as you're eating well, you do not mind sharing your food with strangers." (Pg. 122)
"I am a cultural pluralist. And, as sexuality is a biological, psychlogical, and interpersonal factor of cultural experience, I am a sexual pluralist. What else could I be?" (Pg. 137)