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His Own Where

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
“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

"There must be bridges if we are to reach our young. His Own Where promises to be one."—New York Times Book Review (1971)

Paperback, 112 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by The Feminist Press at CUNY (first published 1971)
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Jul 14, 2012 Dominic rated it it was amazing
I am on a June Jordan kick lately. She was one special writer, and this is one special book. Her only novel--published in 1971--Jordan writes all 93 pages in Black English. While it takes a little while to fall into the rhythm of it (and there is a stunning, poetic, startling rhythm), there is a vibrant energy here the entire way through.

June Jordan is known for her wildly resistant and loving poetry, and this short novel is one similarly about resistance and love. A sort of modern update of Rom
Tabitha Vohn
Jan 27, 2015 Tabitha Vohn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-cool-table
I found this book to be just beautiful. It relates the classic theme of tragic, impossible love to an urban environment. It is simplistic yet heartfelt and mature. The prose is breathtaking (which, of course, one would expect from a poet) and although it is a small book that can easily be read in one setting, it is powerful and lovely to read.
Aug 07, 2012 Britt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetic-love
Can I just tell you about the rhythm of the story? It ebbs and flows and rolls through your mind. The sincere and genuine love between Angela and Buddy is the naive yet unyielding love that I know I have experienced back when I was the kid who was going up against the world.

I read this in a sitting because the story soothed me. Although Angela and Buddy were living in the brokenhearted brooklyn they had love. There was always a struggle something going wrong but they were there for one another
Jul 23, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I just finished reading this about 15 minutes ago and am once more in awe of June Jordan. This is a masterful, poetic, piece of prose. The language is so beautiful and powerful, the characters so richly drawn and real. Buddy is a brilliant observer of both the beauty and injustices in our world. His youthful perspective and energy compel him to reconfigure the world in small and big ways. He is a true hero and leader, transforming the lives of everyone around him by never accepting that things c ...more
Mark Robison
Jun 21, 2015 Mark Robison rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Yifei Men
Jan 26, 2015 Yifei Men rated it really liked it
In some ways, His Own Where has the recurring motifs of a young adult novel -- coming of age, young love, escape from a dysfunctional family and unloving society; what sets it apart is the embodiment of the Harlem that June Jordan sets up.

This small volume is incredibly poetic -- not only because of the rhythm of the vernacular used throughout the book, but Jordan's ear for the poetic beauty of a city in waste; she writes "look up north and see the midtown city see the carhorizon taxicolored t
Madeleine D
Aug 11, 2014 Madeleine D rated it it was amazing
June Jordan is one of the poetry world's most sorely missed masters. Her poetic leanings seep into this narrative, "young adult" yet unforgettable for all readers.
Nov 10, 2011 Steph rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one day. His Own Where is a powerful novel that, although labeled "young adult", is sure to strike a chord with its adult readers. Jordan's prose read very much like her poetry, and the lyricism of the novel is one of its great pleasures. Another is that it casts a message of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. It offers beauty and satisfaction amidst poverty and struggle. It's a book that will leave the reader feeling good, appreciating the good things in their life.
Aug 06, 2010 Pamster rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Pamster by: Selena
June Jordan's 1970 first novel (really it's novella-length) is a celebration of love and creativity, and an indictment of racism and the oppression of youth. It's gorgeous and lyrical and thoughtful and pro-sex and has tons of cool shit about urban planning and the meaning of home and its young black male protagonist is a total hero. Loved. Feminist Press fucking rules for reissuing this.
Brooklyn Darkchild
May 02, 2009 Brooklyn Darkchild rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brooklyn by: I was curious about this "Black English" thing
I read this in high school at a time when I had ZERO appreciation for Black English in its written form.
Strange from a girl who went on to write half her novel in Ebonics right???
I do remember it was a good novel though; one with an intriguing love story; I just couldn't get past the way it was written.
I'd like to read it again one day.
Maybe soon.
Jul 14, 2010 Jill rated it liked it
His Own Where by the late poet June Jordan is a short YA book that reads more like a prose poem. It was originally published in 1971 but was recently reissued by The Feminist Press. It is notable for being written entirely in what we now call Black English.

This is a touching love story and an urban poem all in one.
Mar 26, 2011 Sriram rated it it was amazing
I love this early June Jordan. A great book, and under-read as usual. We need to get June into schools again. If there are teachers out there that have discretion over curriculum, this might be a good book to start with. I am sad and tired of seeing poetry by the singer Jewel in the bookstore, but no JJ. ridiculous.
Jul 28, 2010 vani rated it really liked it
closer to 5 stars than 4. i loved the details about spaces both interior and exterior. like an extended june jordan prose poem (maybe she included a lot of details about buildings and structures b/c writing a novel is very much about building something). i just wish it had been a bit longer.
Jul 30, 2014 H rated it really liked it
I already loved June Jordan's prose and poetry. This novel just makes me love her work more and feel her absence once again. Her powerful, challenging, loving voice left us too soon.
Jun 25, 2010 Laurie marked it as to-read
SPL has only one copy, in a reference collection; I will look for the reprint.
Dec 08, 2014 Naomi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This was a quick read and I wish I'd had more time with the characters. The use of language is one of the best parts of this book.
Sep 04, 2011 Doug rated it really liked it
Fast and powerful book. I have not read any of Jones' other writing, but it makes me want to explore her
Nov 03, 2010 Nicole rated it liked it
It takes a minute to get accustomed to the voice, but once you do... well, you read the book in one sitting.
May 15, 2013 Noelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Poetic and melancholy
Sep 07, 2012 Aliiraba rated it did not like it
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June Millicent Jordan (July 9, 1936 – June 14, 2002) was a Caribbean-American poet and activist.

Jordan received numerous honors and awards, including a 1969-70 Rockefeller grant for creative writing, a Yaddo Fellowship in 1979, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1982, and the Achievement Award for International Reporting from the National Association of Black Journalists in 1984. Jord
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“Buddy and Angela keep track of daytime just by figuring out the last and next time they will come together and how long alone. They become the heated habit of each other.” 0 likes
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