Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Divine Ms. Nikki G

Once again, the Divine Ms. Nikki Giovanni has proven that she knows how to woo a crowd! She's been doing it for nearly 40 years with her poetry and other writings but on Tuesday, she showed her true compassion in such a way that turned a completely sad moment in time into a time of jublilation.

Her Hokie Pride speech brought tears to my eyes because I know how much love she has for Virginia Tech. I also know how much she is personally hurting because of her genuine care and concern for each and every student there. Just a few months ago, I had the privilege of interviewing her about going back to teach. It was inspiring to hear this internationally renowned poet and author express her desire to create a new generation of talented writers---which I have no doubt she is doing.

I became a fan of Nikki G years ago when she burst onto the poetry scene. I became an even bigger fan when she reviewed and endorsed my book, "Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age." Today, I hold her in the highest esteem for who she truly is on the inside.

Here is her speech:

“We are Virginia Tech. We are sad today and we will be sad for quite awhile. WE are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning. We are Virginia Tech. We are strong enough to know when to cry and sad enough to know we must laugh again. We are Virginia Tech. We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did not deserve it but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, but neither do the invisible children walking the night to avoid being captured by a rogue army. Neither does the baby elephant watching his community be devastated for ivory; neither does the Appalachian infant in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy. We are Virginia Tech. The Hokier Nation embraces our own with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid. We are better than we think, not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness. We are the Hokies. We will prevail, we will prevail. We are Virginia Tech. "


Carine said...

I think, as a true "survivor" of the CSUF massacre, that will be this week's column subject. as for the foot, I'll pm you.

Rhea said...

I hadn't heard the name Nikki Giovanni for years, and there she is, teaching at VT.

babyboomerbev said...

Hey Rhea,

Thanks for stopping by. I just got off the phone with Ms. Giovanni. She's doing well--just busy with the shooting investigation.

Nikki Lovah said...

ALI G’S ENTIRE INTERVIEW WITH NIKKI G (this interview, like both Nikki G, wannabe poet, and Tupac, rap star, small-time criminal, and wannabe gansta, is a big pretense, although this particular pretense poses no danger)

ALI G -Booyakasha, chek i’ out. I is here wif my main man, Nikki G, my bro from Staines. How is you become poet? NIKKI G- We’re communicators, it’s in our blood. ALI G: Blood, West Side. Now sis, you, I mean, sorry you is my bro now, you is get some edumacation. You went to America, right? NIKKI G: I went to Fisk. ALI G: Tell me about how you is expelled for crack… NIKKI G: It wasn’t for smoking crack. I started at Fisk in 1960, was soon expelled, and later returned and graduated in 1968. I did enroll and quickly drop out of two graduate schools after that but I did complete that one degree, my bachelor’s degree. ALI G: Wha’eve. You is still my main man. Now you has Tupac Shukar tattoo, right? Can I see that? NIKKI G: Yes, I have said I would rather be with the street thugs than with the ones who complain about them. ALI G: Now is you believe Tupac’s criminal record make him a better rap artist? NIKKI G: Well, I don’t know about that, but… ALI G: I like that poem you wrote about nigger can you kill, can you stab a jew, can you draw blood, can you kill a honkie. Ain’t that a rap! NIKKI G: You’re talking about my poem “The True Import Of Present Dialogue, Black vs. Negro.” I wrote that a long time ago. ALI G: But can’t you make a rap out of that? You is get the whole crowd to stand up at Virginia Tech with that one. NIKKI G: No, that was my new poem We Are Virginia Tech. ALI G: Wha’eve. That was my one an’ only main man, Nikki G, my big bro and big time poet, big shout out for Nikki G from VT.