Happy Birthday to legendary poet, educator, and activist Nikki Giovanni!
Giovanni is among the most prolific and influential poets of her generation; producing such famous collections as Black Feeling, Black Talk (1967), Black Judgment (1968), Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day (1975), and Love Poems (1997).
Over the past thirty years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.” Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the Black community. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others.
Check out a reading of her classic poem Ego-Trippin’ below: