Nikki Giovanni sings praises of Nina Simone, Rosa Parks; rips Bill Cosby and Condi Rice
Nikki Giovanni brought the entire audience to their feet when she was introduced at the Miami Book Fair Interntational 2007 and wasted no time evoking the history of racism in Miami and across the U.S. today, remembering Moms Mabley, and decrying the Jenna Six case and Bill Cosby's reverse cultural biases. Shifting gears from the fiery militancy for which she is famous, Giovanni reflected on the many losses she had suffered in the preceding year, including the deaths of her mother and sister, and introduced her latest book Acolytes: Poems (William Morrow; January, 2007), paying homage to Rosa Parks and Nina Simone, who also passed away in 2007. Mixing satire and touching anecdotes, Giovanni offered insight into the shrouded life and times of Rosa Parks, ripping Condoleezza Rice along the way, and read her elegaic poem titled The Seamstress Of Montgomery followed by the celebratory poem called The Rosa Parks. Next, Giovanni sang the praises of Nina Simone in her poem titled Howl (For Nina Simone). Giovanni closed on a more personal note with readings of the defiant Tennessean By Birth; the sensuous I Am In The Water; the love poem The Yellow Jacket; another love poem called Your Pillow; and the inspirational I Am In Mexico--bringing the audience to their feet again as she waved good-bye.
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