32 Remarkable Nikki Giovanni Quotes

32 Remarkable Nikki Giovanni Quotes

by / Comments Off / 211 View / Nov 21, 2014

Nikki Giovanni is an activist, educator, and writer from Tennessee. She is one of the most famous African american poets of this time. She has won many highly acclaimed awards including Langston Hughes Medal, The NAACP Image Award, and was nominated for a Grammy. Her most recent feat was being named one of Oprah Winfrey’s twenty five “Living Legends.” She still writes poetry to this day.

“A white face goes with a white mind. Occasionally a black face goes with a white mind. Very seldom a white face will have a black mind.”

“Deal with yourself as a individual worthy of respect and make everyone else deal with you the same way.”

“Follow your image as far as you can no matter how useless you think it is. Push yourself.”

“Hip-hop is a cultural expression – it’s embracing.”

“I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.”

“I am totally fascinated by people and our history as I understand and continue to explore it. People have so much to give and so far to go and yet we have given and gone a great distance.”

“It’s really just interesting to ask: why not? And see where that takes me.”

“I don’t want to be near you for the thoughts we share but the words we never have to speak.”

“I hope that, reading ‘Rosa,’ people will remember their own family and friends and talk about what they did and did not do.”

“I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.”

“I resent people who say writers write from experience. Writers don’t write from experience, though many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote
from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.”

“I spend a lot of time learning about bird watching.”

“I think one of the nicest things that we created as a generation was just the fact that we could say, ‘Hey, I don’t like white people.’”

“If now isn’t a good time for the truth I don’t see when we’ll get to it.”

“If you don’t understand yourself you don’t understand anybody else.”

“I’m glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility.”

“It is not who you attend school with but who controls the school you attend.”

“it’s a sex object if you’re pretty and no love or love and no sex if you’re fat.”

“It’s not a ladder we’re climbing, it’s literature we’re producing. . . . We cannot possibly leave it to history as a discipline nor to sociology nor science nor economics to tell the story of our people.”

“Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.”

“Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.”

“Nothing is easy to the unwilling.”

“Poetry and music are very good friends. Like mommies and daddies and strawberries and cream – they go together.”

“Show me someone not full of herself and I’ll show you a hungry person.”

“Some say we are responsible for those we love. Others know we are responsible for those who love us.”

“There’re two people in the world that are not likeable: a master and a slave.”

“We eat up artists like there’s going to be a famine at the end.”

“We love because it’s the only true adventure.”

“We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should no be trained.”

“When you are skinning your customers, you should leave some skin on to grow again so that you can skin them again.”

“White people really deal more with God and black people with Jesus.”

“Writers don’t write from experience, though many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three
poems. Writers write from empathy.”

“You must invent your own games and teach us old ones how to play.”