Revolutionary Poet, Nikki Giovanni
In a world of busy lives and crowded streets, communication from one person to the next is connected by a string of words. Though they may just be words, some particular people use poetry to create a dominant message. A particular poet, Nikki Giovanni, embodies inspiration within each line using personal experiences, especially regarding racial issues. The work of Giovanni includes a diverse collection of ranging themes delivered by a beautiful flow of unrestricted thoughts.
Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1943 to a family with two sisters and was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her childhood consisted of summers spent in Tennessee with her grandparents in admiration of her African-American heritage and early inspiration for powerful spoken language (Ebscohost). As Fisk University arose as a prestigious, black college of eloquent artists and writers, Giovanni attended Fisk in the footsteps of her grandfather, beginning her journey of writing in 1960 (Giovanni). Here, she found a home as a participant in the Writer’s Workshop and editor of the campus literary magazine (Ebscohost). Before moving forward to attend graduate schools University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, Giovanni became involved in the black arts movement and organized the Black Arts Festival in Cincinnati in 1967 after graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in history (Poets.org). Sparking awareness of her political views and social concerns, Giovanni began her life in poetry in response to the assassination of prominent leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Robert Kennedy (Poetry Foundation). She released two books that pressed the topic of the civil rights of black people, which became extremely successful within the first year (Poetry Foundation). From here on, Nikki Giovanni emerged as a prominent figure speaking for the African-American people. As Giovanni continued to publish poetry, she acquired many titles and awards. Throughout her continuing life, Giovanni has written twelve children’s books alongside twenty published poetry collections and has been crowned the “Princess of Black Poetry” (Giovanni).
With history spurring at every moment in time, Nikki Giovanni agrees that the world around her was greatly inspiring her works. In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. led a march with hundreds and thousands of people to speak in Washington DC concerning justice for people of all races (History.com). This historical event, known as The Great March on Washington, was notable for King’s “I Have a Dream” speech which marked a turning point in the progression toward an equal America and inspiring many to fight for their own rights (History.com). This influential speech acted as a kick starter for numerous other up and coming movements, such as the Black Arts Movement (Literary Lifelines). Giovanni was a prominent member of the Black Arts Movement as a poet (Literary Lifelines). Inspired by King, she...