Nikki Rosa Poem

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In the poem “Nikki Rosa” written by Nikki Giovanni depicts what it was like growing up in a black urban environment. The Nikki Rosa portrayed in the poem is reminiscing about her childhood experiences, which she believes would not be understood or valued by those who did not share a life that was parallel to her own. In her poem Nikki is able to juxtapose different events from her youth with how she believes someone, who had not experienced something similar, would misconstrue them. She believes a white biographer would take notice of the struggles, but miss the love that was present. Essentially she feels whites and blacks fundamentally have contrasting ideas about happiness and wealth. Nikki Giovanni is able to show the wealth of the black …show more content…

The poem is written about a black childhood experience, from a black perspective, specifically from the perspective of a black woman. The work has no notable structure or Eurocentric form, it is also devoid of punctuation, nor is there any capitalization, allowing the poem to flow in a way that makes it sound conversational. The poem begins with the line, “childhood remembrances are always a drag” (Giovanni, 1). The beginning of the poem foreshadows the struggle of a young black girls childhood. Essentially the poem focuses on what the outcome would be if a black woman, who grew up poor, were to have her biography written by a white person if she were to “become famous or something (5)”. She believes the white biographer would detail how there was “no inside toilet” and that her baths were taken in “one of those big tubs that folk in Chicago barbeque in” (4, 9) . To counter what a biographer might say, the childhood depicted in “Nikki Rosa” however had its positive moments, such as how good the water felt when getting out of the tub. Nikki Giovanni expresses her belief that a white interpretation of the black experience would be profoundly different from how the adult Nikki Rosa viewed her own childhood. In “Nikki Rosa”, Giovanni points out how happy the child, as well as her sister, were to have their mother all to themselves, rather than focusing on

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