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Legacies Nikki Giovanni Analysis

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The Life and Works of Nikki Giovanni

The ideas and subjects expressed in Nikki Giovanni’s works are a reflection of her life and times. Giovanni, born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1943, is a well-known African-American author who reached her prime in the late 1960´s and the early 1970´s. All of her writings prove her experiences as a child and young woman. ¨frequently anthologized, Giovanni’s poetry expresses strong racial pride and respect for family. Her informal style makes her work accessible to both adults and children¨ (PoetryFoundation 1). Her writings include the poems “Legacies” and “Choices”.

“Legacies” written in 1976 is one of Giovanni's famous pieces of work. Legacies express Giovanni’s knowledge passed down from her generation (Applebee 418). Her knowledge was passed by her grandmother a great teacher to her. She influenced her granddaughter in many ways, such as her informal speech/slang (PoetryFoundation 1). Giovanni uses her slang as an indication of her culture, as is seen in “Legacies” she uses this in a line, ¨I want chu to learn how to make rolls said the old women proudly.” (Applebee 418) “Legacies” is just one illustration of the connections with Giovanni's life and works.
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This poem expresses what the author expects to have but not achieving it (Applebee 420). In Giovanni's works she rages over family love, loneliness, and frustration (PoetryFoundation 1). As demonstrated in “Choices” she is frustrated as she can not achieve what she wants in result she goes along with what society wants her to do. According to the ¨Author Study Nikki Giovanni¨ it states ¨Unfortunately, Giovanni´s independent spirit got her into trouble with the university authorities almost immediately¨ (Applebee 405). This displays the need for independence as is seen in ¨Choices¨. Needless to say “Choices” authenticates the connection with Giovanni's life and
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