Essay about Nikki Giovani: A Woman with Soul

Submitted By undergradstudent14
Words: 698
Pages: 3

Nikki Giovanni: A Woman with Soul Franz Grillparzer, an Austrian writer once stated, “At certain times, men regard poetry merely as a bright flame, but to women it was, and always will be, a warm fire.” In 1968 when World War II was in full effect, one woman’s voice rang out clear. With this development, poetry grew to its truest level in terms of women’s genuine poetry. This time period paved the way for a female African American poet to show the world what poetry had been lacking.
Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr., or Nikki Giovanni was born June 7, 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Giovanni attended Fisk University, where she was expelled the following February due to unfollowed rules at the college. She returned to Cincinnati and took classes at University of Cincinnati. In 1964, she returned to Fisk, where a new dean and new rules were applied to the school (Monroe 32). Giovanni went on to complete her college education and graduated from Fisk University in 1967; she published her first poetry collection entitled, “Black Feeling.” Giovanni has published numerous collections of poetry including; “Black Feeling Black”, “For All the Changes”, and “The Collected Poems of Nikki Giovanni.” Labeled “Princess of Black Poetry” in the early 70’s, Giovanni knew that her career had become a success. Giovanni, who was born in the Holocaust time era, mainly based her works on issues of racial pride, womanist musings and social commentary. The Holocaust took place from 1938 to 1945, and was a systematic state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six-million Jews by the Nazi’s. During this time period, there were many murders taking place due to racial conflicts, and hatefulness from one to country to another (Shelley 2, 5). Giovanni has written many poems that reflect World War II, Martin Luther King, Jr., and her personal life. Some of these poems, which include, “Ego Trippin”, “Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day”, “Choices”, “I’m not Lonely”, and “Nikki-Rosa.” While each poem relates to racial pride, or Giovanni’s personal life, “Nikki-Rosa” genuinely relates to the conflicts of “racial pride.” In this poem, Giovanni speaks on how “childhood memories” are hard to forget if you are a black child because they grew up experiencing much racism. Giovanni also mentions that no one could possibly forget their past if they were raised in Woodlawn; a 126-acre estate that was originally part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. This estate was over 2,000 acres and was worked by over 100 workers, and at least 90 were enslaved people of African descent. Overall, “Nikki-Rosa” discusses the hard life of Giovanni’s childhood, racism, and alcoholism, but she was still happy through each trial and tribulation