Nikki Giovanni

(June 7, 1943 / Knoxville, Tennessee)

Nikki Giovanni
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an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Her primary focus is on the individual and the power one has to make a difference in oneself and in the lives of others. Giovanni’s poetry expresses strong racial pride, respect for family, and her own experiences as a daughter, a civil rights activist, and a mother. She is currently a distinguished professor of English at Virginia Tech.

Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee to Yolande Cornelia, Sr. and Jones "Gus" Giovanni. She grew up in Lincoln Heights, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1960 began her studies at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, her grandfather's alma mater. She ... more »

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  • ''If you don't understand yourself you don't understand anybody else.''
    Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943), U.S. poet. A Dialogue (1973). from a conversation, Nov. 4, 1971, with James Baldwin in London.
  • ''There're two people in the world that are not likeable: a master and a slave.''
    Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943), U.S. poet, and James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. A Dialogue (1973). from a conversation in London, Nov. 4, 1971.
  • ''A white face goes with a white mind. Occasionally a black face goes with a white mind. Very seldom a white face will have a black mind.''
    Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943), U.S. poet. from a conversation with James Baldwin, in London, Nov. 4, 1971. A Dialogue (1973).
  • ''I think one of the nicest things that we created as a generation was just the fact that we could say, Hey, I don't like white people.''
    Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943), U.S. poet. from a conversation with James Baldwin in London, Nov. 4, 1971. A Dialogue (1973).
  • ''A lot of people refuse to do things because they don't want to go naked, don't want to go without guarantee. But that's what's got to happen. You go naked until you die.''
    Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943), U.S. poet. Black Women Writers at Work, ch. 5, by Claudia Tate (1983).
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Comments about Nikki Giovanni

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  • dans yup (1/16/2019 1:53:00 PM)

    Nikki giovanni is such a wonderful poet. I loveeeeeeeeeeeee heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer sooooooooooo mucccch.

  • mnulaa (12/18/2018 11:01:00 AM)

    just before I looked at the paycheck of $5519, I didnt believe that my friends brother was like they say
    rully receiving money part-time on their apple labtop.. there neighbour started doing this 4 less than
    wenty three months and by now repaid the loans on their condo and purchased a top of the range Porsche 911.
    go to,

  • meeeeeeeeeeee (10/14/2018 6:08:00 AM)

    she was veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy brave to be in that shooting

  • Danielle brooks (9/7/2018 5:12:00 PM)

    Sherry Fitzgerald are delighted that the government will be there around with me and you Can

  • hayley law (8/16/2018 1:45:00 PM)

    hey ya'll do ya'll know what her style is and this is a hey from Thomasville Georgia

  • Eddie Chambers (7/19/2018 2:37:00 AM)

    Does anyone know the very first time that Nikki Giovanni's poem Charles White appeared in print?

  • Irene Speed (6/4/2018 9:03:00 AM)

    I am looking for a copy of the Eagles poem by Nikki Giovanni. Please email me at
    Thanks so much,
    Irene Speed

  • wwwwwww (5/22/2018 12:10:00 PM)

    gay rights gay rights gay rights gay rights

  • Lila MacFawn (5/14/2018 6:41:00 PM)

    I am Nikki for my school wax museum

  • Asiah Brewster (3/20/2018 10:43:00 AM)

    In my wv history I have to research you along with some other people. One poem that makes me want to read more of them is A Summer Love Poem. it makes me wonder if what i do is right or wrong. if who i love is just a friendship that i know may know may not last but want it to. and if i should rethink what i have done before.

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Best Poem of Nikki Giovanni

Knoxville Tennessee

I always like summer
you can eat fresh corn
From daddy's garden
And okra
And greens
And cabbage
And lots of
And buttermilk
And homemade ice-cream
At the church picnic
And listen to
Gospel music
At the church
And go to the mountains with
Your grandmother
And go barefooted
And be warm
All the time
Not only when you go to bed
And sleep

Read the full of Knoxville Tennessee
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