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The book from 1971 feels a bit like something that would be assigned in college and many students would struggle through. It’s written in Black English and frequently veers into a rapping, slamming poetry style; you can sense that it’s a precursor to later books by writers such as Ntozake Shange, Sandra Cisneros and Sapphire, who writes the introduction and narrates the audio version. I almost gave up early on but decided to push through because I’ve heard so many great things about June Jordan, and then suddenly I was lost in the story about two Brooklyn teenagers in love, with one dealing with a dying father and the other kicked out of her home. I ended up really liking it but it’s not for everyone. Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: A-
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June Jordan is a poet, one of America's greatest— and you can hear it in the gentle cadence of this rare work of Jordan’s fiction. June's novel is lovingly narrated by Sapphire -- in one of the best, most moving Audible performances I've ever heard.
Hers is a love story set in 1970’s Brooklyn: Teenagers Buddy and Angela find solace in each other when they can’t depend on their families for support.
I was rooting for these two. It’s a simple plot, but the appeal of the book is the musicality, the lyricism of Jordan's prose... you feel taken over by it.
You may be reminded of Push, by Sapphire, who wrote the introduction to this edition, and lovingly serves as narrator. There are similar themes of family violence, tender relationships that aren’t familial, and the inner-city school system. Yet this story is sweeter and more uplifting.
His Own Where was nominated for a National Book Award in 1971. June Jordan passed away in 2002, and is much missed— this audio edition is such a beautiful homage to her legacy.
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