Nikki Giovanni (1934) was born into the family of Jones “Gus” Giovanni and Yolande Cornelia, Sr. Nikki spent her childhood in a suburb of Cincinnati, and enrolled at Fisk University, Nashville in 1960, from where she graduated with honors in history. After that, he continued to attend the Columbia University and University of Pennsylvania. In 1968, she started her career as a professor at Livingston College of Rutgers University.
University and college students, who are about to write their research papers on the chosen topic, have to know that Nikki Giovanni gave birth to her only son, Thomas John Watson on 31 August 1969 while she was visiting Cincinnati for the Labor Day Weekend.
She later claimed that she had a child out of wedlock because she believed marriage to be only an institution and would never have had an important role in her life. After the birth of her son, Nikki Giovanni has changed her priorities, focusing entirely on the child. He stated that: “I cannot imagine living without him. But I can live without the revolution, without the socialism in the world… I have a baby. My responsibilities have changed.”
Both her mother and sister died of lung cancer and in 1995 Nikki Giovanni was also diagnosed with the same disease. Therefore an operation was made at the Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati when she had one of her lungs removed. The writer has stopped smoking immediately after diagnosis, saying that now she smoke only in her dreams. She also denies that the cancer has made her a better person, saying that “if you need a near death experience to appreciate life, then you’re wasting your time.” In 2005, she contributed to writing the introduction to the book Breaking the Silence: Inspirational Stories of Black Cancer Survivors.
The movements for civil rights and the black power have inspired her early poems, collected in Black Feeling. Nikki Giovanni has written more than two dozen them books, including volumes of poetry and three collections of essays.
The literary style of John was heavily inspired by African-American artists and activists.
She has a tattoo with the words Thug for Life in honor of Tupac Shakur, whom he admired.
Nikki Giovanni also tours across the nation and holds frequent speeches against violence motivated by hatred.
In 2004, Nikki Giovanni was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Spoken Word Album for her album “The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection.”
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