A Journal For Jordan: What Dana Canedy Remembers About The Day She Gave Her Partner The Titular Journal

A Journal For Jordan brings to the big screen the true story of how New York Times journalist Dana Canedy and First Sergeant Charles Monroe King fell in love, became pregnant with their son Jordan, and were struck by tragedy. The film centers on an invaluable journal Dana gave Charles, which Charles then turned into a wealth of posthumous lessons for his son before it went on to inspire many – first through Canedy’s bestselling memoir of the same name, and now through the movie adaptation, starring Michael B. Jordan and Chanté Adams. 

CinemaBlend had the opportunity to speak to Dana Canedy during the virtual press day for A Journal For Jordan about what inspired her to give her late partner Charles the titular journal long before her story became a book and then a movie. She told us,

I gave [the journal to Charles] because I knew there was a chance he might not come back and I was pregnant and I wanted our child, I knew we were having a boy, to at least be able to see the words ‘I love you’ on a page from his dad. I had no idea he was going to write 200 pages and when he did and I received that journal in the mail, I fell in love with him at a deeper level. It was incredible.

Dana Canedy's partner was serving the United States Army as the young couple decided they wanted to have a child together (Jordan is now 15 years old). As she shared, she was aware at the time of the risks involved in her son’s father being part of the Iraq War, and she gave Charles an empty journal to at least write a few things down to leave to their son should the worst happen. Canedy continued, 

He was so quiet and he’d written love letters to me. I thought he’d write a few pages at the most, I didn’t know he would fill a book. I was so proud of him for doing that and to watch it on film, oh my gosh. To see Mike sitting there scribbling in the journal, it brought back memories because Charles started it before he left, he took it to Iraq with him and he finished it in the weeks he met Jordan and seeing on film Michael do that brings that rushing back – not in a bad way.

It was a simple gift, and Dana Canedy was overwhelmed by her partner’s response to it, as Charles surprised her with an entire journal full thoughts for their son. Through Canedy’s 2009 memoir, she was able to share their story with tons of readers around the world. The book then went into the hands of screenwriter Virgil Williams, who adapted it under the direction of Denzel Washington

Michael B Jordan and Chante Adams in A Journal For Jordan

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Although A Journal For Jordan is receiving mixed reviews from critics overall, the story itself is worth telling. The movie tells a rare love story involving a soldier from the woman’s perspective, and it takes viewers through the character's years of struggles along with joy. As Dana Canedy told CinemaBlend, seeing Michael B. Jordan embodying her late partner allowed her to remember him in a new way. 

There’s surely many military families who can relate to A Journal For Jordan. A story like this can inspire more people to be empowered to write to their family members or appreciate them more during the holiday season.

A Journal For Jordan is now playing in theaters, and you can plan your movie-watching the the upcoming new year with CinemaBlend’s 2022 new movie release schedule

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.