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Nikki Giovanni at 78

June 08, 2021

Americans Who Tell the Truth

Checking in on Nikki Giovanni today – as she completes another trip around the sun.  And still growing strong. 

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) hosted Giovanni to engage with educators across the state this week, as part of a keynote presentation on equity titled “Nikki Giovanni Speaks.” Giovanni spoke about the role of art and education in social justice and shared reflections on the Black Arts Movement. According to the advance notice from the Washington Informer,  Giovanni has also been named Woman of the Year by Mademoiselle magazine, Ladies Home Journal and Ebony  and has received more than twenty-five honorary degrees and Governor’s Awards.

Last month, The Atlantic  published a new Giovanni poem, “The Coal Cellar,” as part of its Inheritance project.  

And, in case you missed it, here is an interesting profile from late last year, after the release of her latest book Make Me Rain.  “[I]t starts with a love poem by the same name. The collection includes “Laughter (for Dr. Ford),” about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and President Trump, and “Ferguson: The Musical,” about Michael Brown’s death in 2014, but also “De-Planing,” about navigating autograph seekers when she gets off a plane and needs to use the bathroom.”

“I recommend old age,” she said. “There’s just nothing as wonderful as knowing you have done your job.”  We wholeheartedly agree. Giovanni has done her part, and then some. And, thankfully, she is still writing those poems that sizzle and pop.  

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