Nikki Giovanni Essay

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“Nikki Giovanni” Outline I. Nikki Giovanni, A strong yet debatable person in American poetry, Giovanni came into the social disruptions of the late-1960s and early-1970s. Although originally recognized mainly for its militant, revolutionary, Black-Power stance, Giovanni's poetry explores a full variety of themes, from childhood and family to sexuality and romantic love and draws images and rhythms from sources as varied as the Bible. Giovanni's poems are highly personal statements of rage and love, capable of tenderness, humor, and irony. Energetically individualistic, Giovanni's poetry tries to transmit the voice of an active witness, a witness who not only observes but also creates and is created by life's changing circumstances. II. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 7, 1943. “Nikki’s” birth name was Yolanda Cornelia, but the name “Nikki” just got the best of her. She was born to Yolanda Cornelia and Jones “Gus” Giovanni. Although her birthplace was in Tennessee, she was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She and her sister Gary-Ann would go back and visit her grandparents back in Knoxville, Tennessee. From there Giovanni entered Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1960 where she would work in the school’s workshops and as an editorial for the literary magazines. Giovanni then graduated from her grandfather’s alma mater, Fisk University. She then gave birth to her only son Thomas Watson Giovanni on August 31, 1969. Questions were still unanswered only because she was never married to begin with, but she had a child. This could only have meant that she had a child out of wedlock. Because of her perceptions about marriage having a child out of wedlock threw everyone off. At the age of 25 according to Nikki it says that she stated, “Wanted to have a baby when she could afford to have one.” Nikki’s life changed after having her son, she showed the

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