Another One of My “Sheroes”: Nikki Giovanni

Anyone who knows me even the slightest bit knows my love of literature.

The written word. The spoken word.


I grew up reading – no: devouring – the words of women like Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni as though they were chunks of ripe fruit. Sometimes that fruit was sweet, and the juice of it whirled round inside me and made my heart dance. At other times it were bitter, and I felt myself tear up as my throat grew tight, and I was weighed down by the burden our ancestors had carried on their bent backs.

Most importantly, though, it was women like Nikki Giovanni (and, yes, Maya Angelou) that let me know without a shadow of a doubt that our story – my story – was worth telling. That it was just as valuable and just as earth-shattering and just a soul-stirring as any other story echoing  around our planet.

And it was women like these who accompanied me on my journey to find my own voice to tell that story.



Filed under This & That

4 responses to “Another One of My “Sheroes”: Nikki Giovanni

  1. Stephanie

    I met Nikki Giovanni at a reading once – she is every bit as genuine and witty and down to earth as one would think her to be. I will forever treasure the book she signed for me.

    • Trina

      I really envy you that experience, Stephanie! I would love to meet her (and so many others!), and am glad to hear that she is one of those people who is very much like your image of them. And that you have a booked signed by her…. Too wonderful!

  2. Gye

    Like many, I too adore Nikki. She remains an awesome ‘Woman Warrior of Words’! Sharing for edification and inspiration a couple of lines from one of my favorite poems…”.”If I can’t do what I want to do, then my job is to NOT do what I don’t want to do. It’s not the same thing, but it’s the best I can do!”
    — Nikki Giovanni (The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998)

    Please check my Blog, when the time in your life permits – ‘An Angel with Only One Wing’ (URL Address:

    • Trina

      Wow! That is a truly magnificent quote! I believe I will use it as one of my future weekly affirmations, because I think it is such a powerful message. Thanks for making this valuable contribution to the blog. I will certainly check out yours – and hope you come back and continue to share wisdom and experience with us here.

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