Jackie Joyner-Kersee, winner of six Olympic medals, is considered one of the 50 Greatest Athletes of All Time by ESPN, and was voted Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated for Women. She is the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the heptathlon, the first African American woman to win an Olympic medal in the long jump, and the first woman to score 7,000 points in the heptathlon.
Born and raised in East St. Louis, Jackie is committed to ensuring that all children have access to high quality after-school programs, safe recreational places within their communities, and caring adults to help them achieve their dreams. She started the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation. She is the heart and soul of this organization, and serves as living proof that kids in East St. Louis can dare to dream big and if they have the drive and determination, they can accomplish anything they desire.
We are thrilled that Jackie is reading the poem, “Eads Bridge, St. Louis,” by Lawson Inada from Vol. 4 (1963), for our Poetry with Purpose social media project, designed to get more people into poetry. We encourage you to post your own reading, tag it with #december_mag and any of the hashtags below…and ask your friends to do the same. We’re hoping to make this like the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS…but with poetry! @december_mag #decembermagazine #decembermag #poetry #poetryofinstagram #writersofinstagram #poet #instapoetry #poetrycommunity #poetlaureate #jackiejoynerkersee #eadsbridge #JJK
This poem was originally published in december, Vol. 4 (1963).