University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

December 22, 2006
Contact: USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6211

USA Invites World-Renowned Poet to Mobile

Nikki Giovanni

The University of South Alabama’s African-American Studies Program is sponsoring an evening lecture with Nikki Giovanni, a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator. She will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18 at the Saenger Theatre. This event, which is part of the 2007 USA Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday observance, is free and open to the public.

Known as one of the most widely-read American poets, Giovanni prides herself on being "a Black-American, a daughter, mother, and professor of English." Through her writing, she has committed herself to the fight for civil rights and equality.

The Knoxville, Tenn., native has written more than two dozen books, including volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books and three collections of essays. Her book "Racism 101" includes bold, controversial essays about the situation of Americans on all sides of various race issues. Giovanni’s two most recent volumes of poetry, "Love Poems" and "Blues: For All the Changes," were both winners of an NAACP Image Award.

She has received 19 honorary doctorates and a host of other awards including Woman of the Year awards from three different magazines as well as a Governor’s Award in the Arts from both Tennessee and Virginia. She is also an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and was named YWCA Woman of the Year in Cincinnati.

Giovanni earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in history from her grandfather’s alma mater, Fisk University, and is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

For more information on the lecture, contact Dr. Kern Jackson, assistant professor of English and the director of the African-American Studies Program in the USA College of Arts and Sciences at (251) 460-6146.

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