Every time I see a picture of Nikki Giovanni or hear her read a poem or even hear her name I think about listening to her recount how painful it was to have a lung removed back in the 90s during a talk at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. And my very next thought is of her amazing talent. And how wonderful it is that she was able to have this procedure and survive to continue creating powerful and important works.
I introduced her to my daughter a few years ago through her fantastic book Hip Hop Speaks to Children with CD: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat (video). She’s a treasure and the joy on her face in this photo - as she seems to be doing what she loves - is the picture of resilience. Moving.