Nikki Giovanni Research Paper

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Growing up may have been hard, but Nikki Giovanni took those hardships and turned them into writings that have now become famous. Nikki Giovanni is a poet with works for people of all ages. Nikki’s background of domestic abuse and the various happenings of the sixties shaped her poems. Nikki’s life was hard from the very beginning. She was born June 7, 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee to Jones, who was abusive, and Yolande Giovanni. At birth, she was known as Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr. As the second daughter in the family (Pettis 123), Nikki looked up to her older sister, Gary, and was very protective of her (Carson 901). At two months old, Jones and Yolande moved the family to Cincinnati, Ohio, to keep the children away from racial…show more content…
She began college as a conservative republican, having grown up middle class. Nikki attended a Fisk Writer’s Workshop, where she met a great influence in her life. John Oliver Killens was a well-known black author, very opinionated about race and political issues (Rennert 19). She left Fisk as a “socially conscious writer and a progressive activist” (Rennert 21). Nikki’s life after Fisk began with her teaching as an assistant professor at Queen’s College (Rennert 21 or “Nikki” 153). She started her own publishing company, called NikTom in 1970 (Rennert 22). Teaching literature continued to be part of her employment, although Nikki kept studying, wanting to know more of the sacrifices by her African American ancestors (Rennert 123). She then worked at the People’s Settlement House in Wilmington, Delaware. When Nikki’s grandma died, she wrote her first volume of poetry. She may have been grieving, but that never stopped her from being an activist. Nikki organized the first Black Arts Festival in Cincinnati, which was a success, leading to the formation of the Black Theater Group. When she attended the Detroit Conference of Unity and Art, Nikki met the new president of SNCC, and became closer to Black Arts Movement participants. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination hit Nikki hard, and she drove through the night to attend his funeral (Pettis

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