#TJFBHM18: Nikki Giovanni, Grammy-Nominated Poet & Fisk University Alum

Nikki Giovanni, born in Knoxville, TN, is an African American, Grammy-nominated poet and civil rights activist of the late 60s and early 70s. She attended Fisk University, where she served as editor of the campus literary magazine and participated in the Fisk’s Writers Workshop. Her efforts also included helping restore Fisk’s chapter of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

After attending Fisk University, Giovanni went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, eventually receiving a B.A. in History.

Giovanni’s poetry is popular for expressing her interest and feelings towards racial pride and family respect. Her informal style is known for being easy for everyone, including children, to digest.

Along with her personal collections, she shared her knowledge by teaching at Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and Virginia Tech.

Throughout her career, Giovanni has received several awards and honors from notable entities including the National Council of Negro Women, the Rosa Parks Women of Courage Award, and the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers.

She has seven NAACP Awards, three New York Times Best Sellers, and three Los Angeles Times Best Sellers. The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection was nominated for an Emmy in 2004. She has over 20 honorary degrees from colleges and universities across the country.

Thank you for your creative literature, Nikki Giovanni. Today, we recognize you.

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