NIKKI GIOVANNI

Topics: Poetry, Literature, Nikki Giovanni / Pages: 11 (2512 words) / Published: Apr 1st, 2014
Intrepid Nikki

Auriel Jones
AP Literature and Composition
Ms. Yarborough
10 February 2014 Nikki Giovanni, born as Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, is an extremely extraordinary poet whose writing style and themes of her literary works were very inspiring during the Civil Rights Movement. She is considered one of the greatest revolutionary writers in American history of all time. Giovanni was born June 7, 1943, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Shortly after, her parents moved Giovanni and her older sister to Cincinnati, Ohio. From a very young age, Giovanni always had a confident, forceful, and independent personality, matching the qualities off her maternal grandmother. On numerous occasions, she has credited her grandmother for instilling in her passion for civil rights, which explains some of her poetry and prose (Mitchell 1). Her attitude led her to be outspoken and prominent during the Black Power and Black Arts Movements (Bader). Giovanni, a strong activist for civil rights and equality, made great strides in literature by being courageous and outspoken in her writing. She uses a very blunt writing style in her literature, as well as having common themes of thwarted hopes and loneliness and love. Although Nikki Giovanni is viewed as a strong African American woman by most, some critics argued that she did nothing for the world of literature because her writing is too simplistic and inconsistent.
Giovanni displays a blunt writing style in a fair number of her poems. Being blunt means being uncompromisingly forthright. People who are blunt are often viewed as rude, seeing that they say whatever is on their mind at any given moment. For the most part, based on her poetry, Giovanni did not try to sugar coat things to make them sound any sweeter because that is just not the type of person she wanted to portray herself as. Through her use of this writing style, she showed that she was not afraid to go against what was



Cited: Fabio, Sarah. “Nikki Giovanni” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon Gunton. Vol. 19 Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1981. 190-191. Print. Giddings, Paula. “Nikki Giovanni” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Roger Matuz. Vol. 64. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991. 191-192. Print. Giovanni, Nikki. "Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day." Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day: Poems. New York: Morrow, 1978. 21-23. Print. Giovanni, Nikki. "Crutches." Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day: Poems. New York: Morrow, 1978. 32-33. Print. Giovanni, Nikki. "Life Cycles." Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day: Poems. New York: Morrow, 1978. 52-53. Print. Giovanni, Nikki. "Make Up." The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1996. 224-225. Print. Giovanni, Nikki. "Seduction." The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1996. 37. Print. Harris, William J. “Nikki Giovanni” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Roger Matuz. Vol. 64. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991. 193-195. Print. Juhasz, Suzanne. “Nikki Giovanni” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Roger Matuz. Vol. 64. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991. 185-187. Print. Lee, Don L. “Nikki Giovanni” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Roger Matuz. Vol. 64. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991. 182-183. Print. Llorens, David. “Nikki Giovanni” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon Gunton. Vol. 19. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1981. 190. Print. "Nikki Giovanni Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2014. “Nikki Giovanni” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Roger Matuz. Vol. 64. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991. 181-182. Print.

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