Stories & a Poem or two from Nikki Giovanni: It’s Black History Month

For nearly 30 years, UC Santa Cruz has recognized Martin Luther King Jr with an annual convocation.

Last month, UCSC invited Nikki Giovanni to speak.

According to Wikipedia, “Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni (born June 7, 1943) is 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.[1]

And wow, did she have a LOT to say! I wish I could have been there. She presents so much history with so much heart and humor that I am scrambling to figure out how to fit this into my already full syllabus. I can certainly make it an extra credit or make-up assignment, so if you are one of my students, you can watch and listen to this and write about it.

Happy Black History month!

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