TheGrio’s ‘Masters of the Game’ welcomes living legend Nikki Giovanni

Prolific poet, educator, activist and author Nikki Giovanni joins host Maiysha Kai for the second-season finale of “Masters of the Game.”

They say never meet your heroes — but if you do, they just might take you to Mars. Look no further than Nikki Giovanni, who takes us out of this world and into her brilliant mind in the finale of the second season of theGrio’s “Masters of the Game.”

A Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize recipient, seven-time NAACP Image Award winner, and Grammy nominee, Giovanni was notably named one of Oprah’s 25 “Living Legends,” among numerous other accolades. Also a renowned academic, mentor and educator who holds 27 honorary degrees, she welcomed the “Masters of the Game” crew to Virginia Tech, where, after a 35-year tenure, she is University Distinguished Professor Emerita

Sitting down with host Maiysha Kai for a wide-ranging conversation, Giovanni retraced her “Affrilachian” upbringing in Tennessee through her education and civil rights activism at Fisk University and eventual migration to New York City. There, she became a pivotal figure in the Black Arts Movement among a veritable “who’s who” of Black thought leaders and creatives. This includes consulting and appearing on the groundbreaking Black television show “Soul!,” where, alongside James Baldwin, Giovanni had a landmark conversation about equality and Black life in America, subsequently published in 1973 as “A Dialogue.” 

Now 80 and with a 55-year career under her belt, Giovanni is still creating, having released her 22nd poetry collection, “Make Me Rain,” in 2020 and her latest album, “The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni,” in 2022. As a still-working artist, Giovanni places few boundaries on her creativity, traversing poetry, music, cooking, and even children’s literature. In fact, the only realm she still wishes she could explore is space, a topic she explores in the documentary “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project,” which won the 2023 Sundance Jury Prize for Best Documentary.

Want to take a trip into the wise and wondrous world of one of our most revered creative minds? Season Two of “Masters of the Game,” hosted by Maiysha Kai, concludes with living legend Nikki Giovanni on Friday, Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. ET on theGrio TV cable network and fast channels.

Maiysha Kai is theGrio’s lifestyle editor, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades of experience in fashion and entertainment, great books, and the brilliance of Black culture. She is also the editor-author of Body: Words of Change series.

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black‘ with Maiysha Kai.