Black Poets Series: Nikki Giovanni

Hi HerCampus Readers! April is National Poetry Month and it is only right for me to make a series highlighting famous black poets. Poetry is feeling and it is oh so good for the soul. In thie series, world renowened Afrincan-American poets will be highlighted. The first black poet who is coincidentally my all time favorite poet is Nikki Govanni. Lets begin.


Early Life of the Poet

Nikki Giovanni is a African American woman who is one of the most famous poets of all time. Nikki Giovanni was born on June 7, 1943 in Knoxville Tennesee. Giovanni grew up in Tennesee and attened Austin High School. She later attended Fisk University which is a Historical Black College and University in Tennesee. She graduated with a bachelors of arts degree in history. Giovanni began writing when she became older. Many of her poems and writings were considered millitant and brutally honest. Many top publishers were not interested in publishing her work. She was already a black woman and since her writings were considered "contreversial", ishe had to start her own publishing company to get her works out there. 

Writings of the Poet

Giovanni began writing at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movemment. She would write about her feelings and thoughts of what it was like to be black in America. Her early poems that were collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s are seen as radical as and more militant than her later work. Her poetry is described as being "politically, spiritually, and socially aware".Giovanni is very honest in her works and her advocacy for racial equality is always exhibited. Giovanni also wrote many works advocating for gender equality. She spoke and wrote heavily about the barriers of being a black woman in America.

Famous Poems by the Poet

  • "VOTE"
  • "You"
  • "Dreams".
  • "Nikki-Rosa"
  • "A Poem of Friendship". 
  • "Sky Diving". 
  • "Love Is".
  • Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day (Poetry Collection)

What makes this poet so great

Many people have the perception of what they think poetry should be. especially from women. However, Giovanni defied this. Her revolutionary attitude in her works inspired people to be angry and to make a change. Giovanni's words captivated you and made you continute to read. She was outspoken at a time where they wanted blacks to be silent. Giovanni will always be considered one of the greatest poets of all time for her resillence and "millitant" works.