The 100 Best African American Poems

The Best African American Poems Hear voices contemporary and classic as selected by New York Times bestselling author Nikki Giovanni Award winning poet and writer Nikki Giovanni takes on the impossible task of selecting the best

  • Title: The 100 Best African American Poems
  • Author: Nikki Giovanni
  • ISBN: 9781402221118
  • Page: 391
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Hear voices contemporary and classic as selected by New York Times bestselling author Nikki Giovanni Award winning poet and writer Nikki Giovanni takes on the impossible task of selecting the 100 best African American works from classic and contemporary poets Out of necessity, Giovanni admits she cheats a little, selecting a larger, less round number.The result is th Hear voices contemporary and classic as selected by New York Times bestselling author Nikki Giovanni Award winning poet and writer Nikki Giovanni takes on the impossible task of selecting the 100 best African American works from classic and contemporary poets Out of necessity, Giovanni admits she cheats a little, selecting a larger, less round number.The result is this startlingly vibrant collection that spans from historic to modern, from structured to freeform, and reflects the rich roots and visionary future of African American verse These magnetic poems are an exciting mix of most loved classics and daring new writing From Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes to Tupac Shakur, Natasha Trethewey, and many others, the voice of a culture comes through in this collection, one that is as talented, diverse, and varied as its people.African American poems are like all other poems beautiful, loving, provocative, thoughtful, and all those other adjectives I can think of Poems know no boundaries They, like all Earth citizens, were born in some country, grew up on some culture, then in their blooming became citizens of the Universe Poems fly from heart to heart, head to head, to whisper a dream, to share a condolence, to congratulate, and to vow forever The poems are true They are translated and they are celebrated They are sung, they are recited, they are delightful They are neglected They are forgotten They are put away Even in their fallow periods they sprout images And fight to be revived And spring back to life with a bit of sunshine and caring Nikki Giovanni Read Gwendolyn Brooks Kwame Alexander Tupac Shakur Langston Hughes Mari Evans Kevin Young Asha Bandele Amiri Baraka Hear Ruby Dee Novella Nelson Nikki Giovanni Elizabeth Alexander Marilyn Nelson Sonia Sanchez And many, many, Nikki Giovanni is an award winning poet, writer, and activist She is the author of than two dozen books for adults and children, including Bicycles, Quilting the Black Eyed Pea, Racism 101, Blues For All the Changes, and Love Poems Her children s book plus audio compilation Hip Hop Speaks to Children was awarded the NAACP Image Award Her children s book Rosa, a picture book retelling of the Rosa Parks story, was a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award Both books were New York Times bestsellers Nikki is a Grammy nominee for her spoken word album The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection and has been nominated for the National Book Award She has been voted Woman of the Year by Essence, Mademoiselle, and Ladies Home Journal She is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, where she teaches writing and literature.

    One thought on “The 100 Best African American Poems”

    1. Just sharing a few of my own favourites from this. It comes with a CD = )<3 Nikki Giovanni <3The Girlfriend’s TrainNikky Finney“You write like a Black woman who’s never been hit before.”I read poetry in Phillyfor the first time ever.She started walking up,all the way, from in backof the room.From against the wallshe came,big coat, boots,eyes soft as candlesin two storms blowing.Something she could not seefrom way back there butcould clearly hear in my voice,something she needed to [...]

    2. Poet Nikki Giovanni is the editor of this anthology of The 100 Best African American Poems. However, there is an asterisk and small type indicating “but I cheated” and that’s because the book actually contains 221 poems. The compilation covers the gamut from classic to contemporary poems and include works by Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Kevin Young, Mari Evans, Haki R. Madhubuti , Kwame Alexander, Tupac Shakar, among others. Also included with the book, is a companion audio CD that c [...]

    3. I decided to get this book because I'm lacking collections and books of poetry in my library and was won over immediately when I saw it on Kim Lechelle's You Tube channel. I felt what better way to start a collection with this one. The book was edited by Nikki Giovanni which is definitely a selling point. She has chosen some of the most poignant, lyrical, culturally rich poems by some of the most prominent writers from the African-American community - some gone for many years and others still al [...]

    4. In my opinion, Nikki Giovanni represents one of the best modern poets of the 20th and 21st centuries. So when she edits or publishes a book of poems, I pick up a copy and peruse the content. She includes poetry with an eclectic blend of beloved poets such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright. And of course, Nikki Giovanni includes a sampling of her own poems to delight avid fans like me. Another bonus with this book is that there is a companion CD featuring r [...]

    5. This collection is amazing and includes a CD with various readers reading different poems. There are a few poems that are pretty raw. Most are stunning emotionally and in visual imagery. Two of my favorites are a poem about living in Boston, not knowing anyone else black, and a poem of Nikki Giovanni's that includes the line "black love is black wealth." All due respect to Ms. Giovanni, I think I could say the same of my dirt-farming white grandparents and their children (my mom and her siblings [...]

    6. I'm not a huge fan of poetry, but this was pretty good. My favorites were:Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon JohnsonBallad of Birmingham by Dudley RandallView of the Library of Congress from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School by Thomas Sayers Ellis

    7. I wasn't able to give this collection the time and contemplation it deserves before it was due back at the library, but--speaking as someone who's intimidated by poetry--the poems in this book are beautiful, heart-breaking (and at times funny), and wonderfully varied. There are a few well known poems, but more that I wasn't familiar with. There were poems I could relate to on a deep level, poems that educated me, and poems that mystified and eluded me. This is #ownvoices writing in all its glory [...]

    8. Love this volume - it comes with a CD and a good number for the poets are reading their own work.It is lovely to hear them.

    9. A Poet's Anthology Of African American PoetryAfrican Americans have made large contributions to the literature of the United States especially in poetry. The award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni has selected for this volume 100 (or so) of the best poems written by African Americans. The book is accompanied by a CD of readings of 36 of the poems.As Giovanni recognizes, it isn't possible for anyone to pick out the 100 "best" of a large, complex genre. Few informed readers would agree on the choice of [...]

    10. Picked up this book at bookstore and opened it randomly. The first poem I found was the following:No imagesShe does not knowHer beauty,She thinks her brown bodyHas no glory.If she could danceNakedUnder palm treesAnd see her image in the river,She would know.But there are no palm treesOn the street,And dish water gives back no images.10 seconds later, I came out of the bookstore with the book in my hand. Oh yes, I did pay for it! Anyway, many poems unfortunately are not as beautifully strong and [...]

    11. For devoted poetry readers or scholars of African American culture, this isn't anything shocking. The expected choir assembles: Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Amiri Baraka, Tupac Shakur. The editor is bold/brazen enough to include six of her own works. And so who might appreciate this collection?People who aren't yet over-educated. As an informal introduction, it is excellent. As an entry into poetry in general and African American voices in p [...]

    12. Rather than a selection of the 100 "Best" (whatever that means), it's better to think of these as something of a sampler. The collection presents a solid mix of classic African-American work with newer, slam and hip hop infused material. Uniting the work is a certain aural orientation: these are all poems meant to be heard, to be read aloud. Among the newer voices, Kwame Alexander I a very nice find. His "Dancing Naked on the Floor" has a strong Spoken Word aspect, the sort that had me warning t [...]

    13. Such a collection! Tupac Shakur and Langston Hughes. Nikki Giovanni and Amiri Baraka. A cross section of language and soul to be sung, recited, and celebrated. The accompanying CD with performances of selected poems is amazing. Especially when the author of the poem gets to give voice to their work.I would not be able to choose a mere hundred either. I do not envy the editor, but she did a remarkable job.I highly recommend this book.

    14. I like the idea of this anthology perhaps better than the final product, but still I appreciated the effort. Very Nikki G. I was happy to be introduced to black poets I wasn't familiar with, and the group recitation of "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks (on the accompanying cd) is well worth the listen.

    15. Good roundup of poets. There wasn't any poems that were particularly refreshing - most were included in other well-known anthologies. Of course there were quite a few new well-known black poets missing from the anthology, but overall I thought it was pretty accurate and a good read.

    16. Seems to be over a longer span 1800s to 2000sPoems I read:We Real Cool, by Gwendolyn BrooksThe Negro Speaks of Rivers, by Langston HughesNo Images, by Waring CuneyTheme for English B, by Langston HughesHarlem, by Langston HughesIncident, by Countee Cullen

    17. This is a fantastic collection by Nikki Giovanni, a great African-American poet in her own right. Ranging from all eras of U.S. history and including (rightly so) hip-hop lyrics as poetic forms, the accompanying CD also provides insight about how these poems can "sound."

    18. Fantastic collection. What was even better was hearing her take on the compilation of the book, during a lively discussion at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in DC. What an evening! Plus, I got a personalized autograph. How cool is that?

    19. Great mix of poems from some of my favorite African-American poets. Some of my favorites are by Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks, Countee Cullen, and L. Lamar Wilson.

    20. Haven't even finished it yet, but I already love it. It's definitely a favorite.Finished it. Incredibly good.

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