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Nikki Giovanni. “KNOXVILLE, Tennessee”. By: Samantha Hammond. Basic facts. Born 1943, in Knoxville, Tennessee Grew up in Lincoln Heights, Ohio Spent a major part of her happy childhood with her grandparents Bachelors Degree in History at Fisk University, 1967. Influences.

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basic facts
Basic facts
  • Born 1943, in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Grew up in Lincoln Heights, Ohio
  • Spent a major part of her happy childhood with her grandparents
  • Bachelors Degree in History at Fisk University, 1967
influences
Influences
  • While attending Fisk, Giovanni was greatly influenced by a novelist who taught a Creative Writing workshop, John Oliver Killens.
  • Racial views of her classmates
slide4
More…
  • Most of her early poetry included her anger towards how black Americans were treated
  • She supported open violence, due to how impatient she was for change
  • In 1969 Giovanni:
  • Took a teaching job at Rutgers University
  • Gave birth to her son Thomas
  • Never married
  • 1970s her work became less angry and more domestic
published books albums
Published books/albums
  • Black Judgment & Black feeling, Black talk
  • 1971 she experimented with sound recording and released the album Truth is on its way
  • 1978 - Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day
  • 1983 - Those Who Ride the Night Winds
knoxville tennessee1
Knoxville, Tennessee

“I always like summer

Best

you can eat fresh corn

From daddy\'s garden

And okra

And greens

And cabbage

And lots of

Barbeque

And buttermilk

And homemade ice-cream

At the church picnic

And listen to

Gospel music

Outside

At the church

Homecoming

And go to the mountains with

Your grandmother

And go barefooted

And be warm

All the time

Not only when you go to bed

And sleep”

theme
Theme
  • One theme for “Knoxville, Tennessee” is simple life before the race riots, this can be determined by how she incorporated several simple life activities/items:
  • Food
  • Activities
  • Family members
  • In other poetry by Giovanni, its typically about her anger towards the racial views on Black Americans.
poetic devices 1
Poetic devices 1
  • Symbols
  • In almost every line she uses symbols, such as:
  • “and you can eat fresh corn” (line 3)
  • “And homemade ice-cream” (line 11)
  • “Barbeque” (line 9)
  • “And go barefooted” (line 20)
poetic device 2
Poetic device 2
  • Imagery
  • Giovanni uses imagery to set the scene to the reader, she uses this multiple times:
  • ‘I always like summer’ (line 1)
  • ‘At the church’ (line 16)
  • ‘And you can eat fresh corn
  • And okra
  • And greens
  • And cabbage” (line
  • “At the church picnic” (line
poetic device 3
Poetic device 3
  • Tone, Mood
  • Giovanni uses tone and mood multiple times within her writing
  • “Gospel music” (line 14)
  • “Homecoming” (line 17)
  • “And be warm” (line 21)
bibliography
Bibliography
  • "Knoxville, Tennessee." Poetry for Students. Ed. David A. Galens. Vol. 17. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 130-143. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 June 2014.
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