Nikki Giovanni is a 1 time AALBC.com Bestselling Author
Nikki Giovanni is the author of many books of poetry including Love Poems, for which she recieved an NAACP Image Award, and The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni. Giovanni holds the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry and has been named woman of the year by Mademoiselle, Ladies' Home Journal, and Essence. A gardener and consummate lover of the blues, Giovanni is a professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic.
Interview: Nikki Giovanni on Race, Age & Sex Black Collegian Magazine (Vol. 1, No. 1, Dec-Jan 1970)
BC: What do you mean when you say you’re a nationalist?
NG: I mean I’m for American black people first and then I’m for Africans and West Indians and Vietnamese and all that but I’m for American black people first. If I had a job and I could give it to somebody, I would give it to an American black person and I would not feel justified giving it to an African because I know too many American black people who have fought and died. I know too many brothers and sisters who have picketed.
I get a little uptight about third world politics because all it seems to be is that a certain group of black people get to go to Africa and fuck up and a certain group of Africans get to come to America and fuck up and in the meantime nothing happens but dissension.
I think there should be an American Negroes at my bank because we picketed to get my bank to hire black people and when we say black we didn’t mean, at least I didn’t mean, any old black person. I meant somebody that lived in Harlem because Harlem is the one that picketed for it. If not Harlem then all right we can deal with Louisiana. We should deal with American Negroes that need things. And I don’t think this should be put aside because somebody says we got to unite around the world. I think that uniting means that everybody’s got to take care of his own turf (land).
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