Famous Quotes & Sayings

Nikki Giovanni Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Nikki Giovanni.

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Famous Quotes By Nikki Giovanni

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What's the difference between dragging a black man behind a truck in Jasper, Texas, and beating a white boy to death in Wyoming because he's gay? — Nikki Giovanni

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I spend a lot of time learning about bird watching. — Nikki Giovanni

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I think speeches and fruit should always be fresh. — Nikki Giovanni

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Some say we are responsible for those we love. Others know we are responsible for those who love us. — Nikki Giovanni

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The more you love someone the more he wants from you and the less you have to give since you've already given him your love. — Nikki Giovanni

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We believe 'Peter Rabbit' because Beatrix Potter believes it. You have to. — Nikki Giovanni

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I am so hip even my errors are correct — Nikki Giovanni

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I'm an old storyteller. [When] I tell the story, it's about the story. — Nikki Giovanni

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I had a really nice childhood; I had great parents. I earned my allowance by washing dishes, and in the summer I earned my allowance by working in daddy's garden. — Nikki Giovanni

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The poet can only write the poems; it takes the reader to complete the meaning. — Nikki Giovanni

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If you're a writer, the answer to everything is yes. — Nikki Giovanni

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History is wonderful. We have so much we can learn if we would quit making ideology out of history, and just deal with what happened. — Nikki Giovanni

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Grant me Love implies
not desire but
Commitment
Commitment accepts Challenge
Challenge embraces Theory
And you and I will get Reason: A way to explore
past actions
and
future dreams — Nikki Giovanni

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She knows who she is, because she knows who she isn't. — Nikki Giovanni

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I used to dream militant dreams of taking over america to show these whitefolks how it should be done i used to dream radical dreams of blowing everyone away with my perceptive powers of correct analysis i even used to think that i'd be the one to stop the riot and negotiate the peace then i awoke & dug that if i dreamed natural dreams of being a natural woman doing what a woman does when she's natural i would have a revolution. — Nikki Giovanni

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If were a shower
I could saturate your hair
Work my way over your lips
Across your shoulders
Around your waist
Through your knees
To the tips of your toes
And back again
Warm wet salty
Sweet — Nikki Giovanni

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There are things you stand up for because it's right. — Nikki Giovanni

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We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again. — Nikki Giovanni

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Maybe what will really work is we all need to have a fear tree in our backyard or a small fear plant growing on our apartment windowsill. When we are feeling uneasy we pluck a few leaves and find the right place to put them. Champagne would be the number one choice but spaghetti works, too. Have a little fear at least once a week and you will build up your resistance. Like a vaccination. Then, when wars and hatreds come along you'll be able to recognize that's just another expression of Fear. No thanks, I've had my quota. — Nikki Giovanni

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I have not tried to tell the people anything. I have shared my views with the people but I have not tried to lead or correct them, assuming they need correction. — Nikki Giovanni

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Poets can tell the truth as they see it. It's the author's story, the author's voice. — Nikki Giovanni

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Once you know who you are, you don't have to worry anymore. — Nikki Giovanni

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The job of the architect becomes more difficult in this secular age. Where once he had a god to extol, he now has humans like himself; where once he had "he," he now has "she" and "they. — Nikki Giovanni

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Photographers direct the eye toward a particular object. We who write, one hopes, are directing the heart and the soul. — Nikki Giovanni

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Art is not for the cultivated taste. It is to cultivate taste. — Nikki Giovanni

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If I can't do what I want to do, then my job is to not do what I want to do. It's not the same thing, but it's the best thing I can do. — Nikki Giovanni

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It is not who you attend school with but who controls the school you attend. — Nikki Giovanni

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I'm into my Black Thing
And it's filling all
My empty spots — Nikki Giovanni

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Life is a marvelous, transitory adventure. — Nikki Giovanni

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The only way you can grow is to let yourself make mistakes and create contradictions. As we learn new things, some of our old attitudes will change. — Nikki Giovanni

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I hope i die warmed by the life that i tried to live — Nikki Giovanni

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Nothing is easy to the unwilling. — Nikki Giovanni

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I'm told by my young friends that experience is much more important than books. Of course Ben Franklin had something to say about experience and fools, but even Franklin thought that a fool would learn by his experience. That has proven false in the modern world. Some people are simply unwilling to learn under any circumstances, which maybe, even then, wouldn't be so bad if they weren't so damned proud of it. — Nikki Giovanni

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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. — Nikki Giovanni

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To become a poet, the most important thing is to pay attention. The next would probably be to read; it's so important to pay attention. It keeps you from being bored, and I might add it keeps you from being boorish. — Nikki Giovanni

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We eat up artists like there's going to be a famine at the end. — Nikki Giovanni

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Rage is to writers what water is to fish. — Nikki Giovanni

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You must be unintimidated by your own thoughts because if you write with someone looking over you shoulder, you'll never write. — Nikki Giovanni

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Show me someone not full of herself and I'll show you a hungry person. — Nikki Giovanni

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Everybody that loves freedom loves Harriet Tubman because she was determined not only to be free, but to make free as many people as she could. — Nikki Giovanni

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The world is not a pleasant place to be without someone to hold and be held by. — Nikki Giovanni

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If you don't understand yourself you don't understand anybody else. — Nikki Giovanni

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I am a big fan of the electronic book. I hate to see the old bookstores close, but they have to reinvent themselves. I believe the First Edition bookstore will be the next thing. People will read electronically, then decide they want to own that book. The author will then be invited to the old bookstores to sign. I think books will always be with us, but they will fill a different need. — Nikki Giovanni

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Life is a process where people mix and match, fall apart and come back together. — Nikki Giovanni

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I appreciate and enjoy my age. — Nikki Giovanni

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You must invent your own games and teach us old ones how to play. — Nikki Giovanni

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Don't want to be near you for the thoughts we share but the words we never have to speak. — Nikki Giovanni

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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. — Nikki Giovanni

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BEFORE YOU JUMP OFF A BRIDGE OR HANG YOURSELF OR BE UNHAPPY PLEASE CONSIDER: LIVE FOR YOURSELF; THOSE WHO HATE YOU HAVE NO PURCHASE — Nikki Giovanni

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I am of the generation of segregation. Black Lives Matter is post. I said today, and I will say all the time, "If Nina [Simone] were here, she'd have her Black Lives Matter [T-shirt] on." I think they're great kids. They don't need me or anybody else to tell them what to do. — Nikki Giovanni

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I like being
The moon
To your sun — Nikki Giovanni

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I knew Stokely [Carmichael] and them, but when you got to that, you saw that Nina Simone started to take up their burden. She started to preach for them. She was taking on the burden of "I want to tell the people." — Nikki Giovanni

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We are all more than our experiences
And less than our dreams
~ from "I Am Glass — Nikki Giovanni

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I wish that she had had a black loon because I don't think that Nina [Simone] did. I have always had - I've been very fortunate - a group of little old ladies that I love and who love me, and who turned and to whom I turn at different times. — Nikki Giovanni

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Sacred cows make very poor gladiators. — Nikki Giovanni

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The unwillingness to try is worse than any failure. — Nikki Giovanni

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Style has a profound meaning to Black Americans. If we can't drive, we will invent walks and the world will envy the dexterity of our feet. If we can't have ham, we will boil chitterlings; if we are given rotten peaches, we will make cobblers; if given scraps, we will make quilts; take away our drums, and we will clap our hands. We prove the human spirit will prevail. We will take what we have to make what we need. We need confidence in our knowledge of who we are. — Nikki Giovanni

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We are less lonely when we connect. Art is connection. — Nikki Giovanni

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Art offers sanctuary to everyone willing to open their Hearts as well as their Eyes. — Nikki Giovanni

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And sometimes I sit down at my typewriter and I think not of someone cause there isn't anyone to think about and i wonder is it worth it — Nikki Giovanni

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And like an unfaithful mate, once a car has let you down you never sort of trust it again. — Nikki Giovanni

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The only advice [for new writers and poets] I can offer is to be yourself: not the self someone else wants you to be, but the self you are. Enjoy yourself and your life. But most of all travel and eat. That's how we learn. — Nikki Giovanni

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Writing is a conversation with reading; a dialogue with thinking. All conversations with older people contain repetition. Some of the ideas mean a lot to me, just interesting, so I both embrace and attack the ideas because I found them, well, delightful. — Nikki Giovanni

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For most of my life, I've thought of myself as pretty cool. — Nikki Giovanni

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We obviously need the truth. We're living in a country of lies. — Nikki Giovanni

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Libraries ... house our dreams. — Nikki Giovanni

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I am honest; I try to be truthful. I like people and wish us well. We are not always deserving of our own best wishes. — Nikki Giovanni

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A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are. Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you're in and take advantage of it. — Nikki Giovanni

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No one needs to teach you to be mean; we need to be taught to be kind. — Nikki Giovanni

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I grow old though pleased with my memories The tasks I can no longer complete Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past I offer no apology only this plea: When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt That I might keep some child warm And some old person with no one else to talk to Will hear my whispers And cuddle near — Nikki Giovanni

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[My] Books are like puppies and children: you love each one for different reasons. I don't actually have a favorite because, if I were honest, I'm always more excited about what is coming. — Nikki Giovanni

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I think life is cotton candy on a rainy day. For those who grew up with cotton candy the old-fashioned way, it is very delicate. Pre-made cotton candy that has preservatives is not nearly as good or true. True cotton candy is sugar, color, and air and it melts very quickly. That was the metaphor - it can't be preserved, it can't be put aside, it can't be banked. It has to be experienced, like life. — Nikki Giovanni

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Young people coming up who are having difficulty with their so-called celebrity need to get back into their lives. It's your life and you can't let the fact that you do something pretty good take away the joy of it. — Nikki Giovanni

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Poems don't have to rhyme. Poems are about beauty and emotion; in other words poems are about feelings. — Nikki Giovanni

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I always like summer
best — Nikki Giovanni

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I'm just totally fascinated by people. — Nikki Giovanni

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I'm a big fan of history - applying the lessons as well as the joys and sadness. If we pay attention, we would see how we affect each other. In terms of time, we are not that far from one another. If we were to look back a century, it would seem like a long time; but, if we look at it by decades then it's only 10 years, and by generations it's only five. — Nikki Giovanni

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Poetry is like air. It's one of the necessary things. Everyone benefits from poetry. And as you know, poetry is international. There are only two things that are truly international, poetry and wine. — Nikki Giovanni

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Floating to shore ... riding a low moon ... on a slow cloud. — Nikki Giovanni

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Follow your image as far as you can no matter how useless you think it is. Push yourself. — Nikki Giovanni

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We have a world to conquer ... one person at a time ... starting with ourselves. — Nikki Giovanni

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You know a person is having a severe personality crisis if you see a high school class ring on a finger beyond the first semester in college. Male or female. It's a big sign saying nothing has mattered to my life since senior year. — Nikki Giovanni

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Baseball is already the world's most tranquil sport. It is probably the only active sport where you are not seriously required to be alive to play. — Nikki Giovanni

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Who I am really keeps surprising me. — Nikki Giovanni

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If now isn't a good time for the truth I don't see when we'll get to it. — Nikki Giovanni

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I don't have a life-style, I have a life. — Nikki Giovanni

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America may not be the best nation on earth, but it has conceived loftier ideals and dreamed higher dreams than any other nation. America is a heterogeneous nation of many different people of different races, religions, and creeds. Should this experiment go forth and prosper, we will have offered humans a new way to look at life; should it fail, we will simply go the way of all failed civilizations. — Nikki Giovanni

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I am a huge fan of the Black woman. I never hesitate to recommend her when times are bad or things go wrong. — Nikki Giovanni

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Now, everything I do, I do because I want to. And I believe the best is yet to come. — Nikki Giovanni

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We all have our muses. My grandmother and my mother are the people I write for. I'll never have to worry about who buys my work, or who likes it, and who doesn't. The people who I want to be proud of me already are. — Nikki Giovanni

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I'm glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility. (U.S. poet and writer, 1943- ) — Nikki Giovanni

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Deal with yourself as a individual, worthy of respect and make everyone else deal with you the same way. — Nikki Giovanni

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We cannot leave it to history as a discipline nor to sociology nor science nor economics to tell the story of our people — Nikki Giovanni

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I like what they're doing. I think they're doing a good job, and I know that a lot of people are upset by them. These are great young men and women, and they're bold, and they are saying to America, "Something's going to change." I'm very proud of them. — Nikki Giovanni

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When younger, I thought one of the particulars of being "Homo sapiens" was to communicate. I have not learned not to, though I am cautious when I try. — Nikki Giovanni

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Hip-hop is a cultural expression - it's embracing. — Nikki Giovanni

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Death is a slave's freedom. — Nikki Giovanni

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Who I really am keeps surprising me. — Nikki Giovanni

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Black Americans should be given credit for finding probably the perfect weapon; the weapon of the song. And that song continues. Most holocausts don't, so they have this bitterness left over. The phenomenon of the world, as far as Black Americans are considered, is that we are not a bitter people. — Nikki Giovanni

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If I could come back as anything - I'd be a bird, first, but definitely the command key is my second choice. — Nikki Giovanni