Nikki Giovanni on why she loves how Maxine Waters gets Trump upset
'Phenomenal Woman' poet inspires women with unmatched snappy wit and candid talk at the Apollo Theater
Nikki Giovanni and Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole open the WOW Festival at the Apollo theater with a conversation on politics, culture and womanhood.
Legendary poet Nikki Giovanni on Tuesday lifted many Black women’s spirits up high after providing advice on how they can emotionally cope with the country’s current political climate. The renowned poet offered encouraging words and dropped many other gems to over 800 black women during the opening night of the Women of the World (WOW) Festival at the Apollo theater.
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Noted educator, former president of Spelman College and Bennett College and new president of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, interviewed Giovanni during the festival, which celebrates Black women and girls.
The NAACP Image Award winner told the website Broadly about her thoughts on the emotional toll Black women endure in public spaces to represent “marginalized communities.”
“One of the things I think is missing right now,” Giovanni said, “is we seem to be spending time telling white people what they’re doing wrong, instead of telling Black people what we’re doing right.”
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To clarify her statement, Giovanni continued on to say, “But I love Maxine [Waters] and I just love when she says something and Donald Trump gets so upset. I love it.”
While speaking with Dr. Cole at the historic theater, Giovanni also talked about Black American history perseverance and their ability to endure horrific events that have occurred in the past.
“Someone mentioned lynchings,” Giovanni said. “It’s easy to forget that somebody cut those bodies down, which was bad enough. But then you had to wipe the spit off. And then you had to close up the wounds that were open. And then they had to bury them. They had to carry that story forward. And they carried that story forward with spirituals.”
She used that statement to symbolize how we are able to withstand trials although we are currently dealing with Donald Trump’s presidency. She suggests that we need to continue to keep “rich, spiritual connections intact,” during this political era.
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“We have to ask ourselves with Donald Trump, because, you know, we’re looking at a Nazi right now […] so we’re saying, ‘How are we going to get through this?’ We’re gonna get through because we lean on the everlasting arms” Giovanni said.
The conversation was hosted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated as a part of their “Pride in Our Heritage” tour. Both Giovanni and Cole are members of the sisterhood and welcomed a number of the organizations national presidents: Thelma Daley, Qwendolyn Boyd, Cynthia Marie Antionette Butler-McIntyre, Paulette Walker, and Beverly Smith.