Childhood Memories in Nikki-rosa by Nikki Giovanni Essay

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The poem, “Nikki-rosa” written by Nikki Giovanni, an African American poet, who was born in 1943. During the sixties, she emerged as a black poet whose militancy during the civil rights movement made her immensely popular. In 1968, she published the poem “Nikki-rosa”. In the poem “Nikki-rosa”, she uses her childhood as the basis of this story. Nikki-rosa communicates through her childhood memories, the belief that white people and black people have fundamentally different ideas about wealth and happiness. That white people and black people see their personal life experiences differently. Wealth for black people is love, family, and togetherness; not tangible items. The sense of community and acceptance was more valuable than having even an …show more content…
There is no verse in the poem, but there is a rhythm that emerges when read aloud. The author uses a negative, positive pattern throughout the majority of the poem, which, accentuates the differences between her positive feeling about the memory, vs. the white author’s perception of the memory.

The author uses tone and images throughout to compare and contrast the concepts of “black wealth” and a “hard life”. The author combines the use of images with blunt word combinations to make her point; for example, “you always remember things like living in Woodlawn with no inside toilet”. This image evokes the warmth of remembering a special community with the negative, have to use outdoor facilities. Another example of this combination of tone and imagery is “how good the water felt when you got your bath from one of those big tubs that folk in Chicago barbecue in”. Again the author’s positive memory is of feeling fresh after her bath combined with a negative, the fact that it was a barbecue drum.

The author uses the notion of the “whole family attended meetings about Hollydale” again to reiterate not just the importance of the family, but the community itself and its importance in the culture. The community is a part of what the author calls “black love”, which is part, of the poem’s intention. “Black love” meaning that being together, having joyous holidays together, a sense of community and supporting each other is equivalent to wealth.

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