Nikki Giovanni Headlines Thomas Nelson's Feb. 10 Black History Month Observance

January 26, 2017
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Thomas Nelson Community College will observe Black History Month on Friday, Feb. 10 with two events on the Hampton campus  ̶  a Black History & Business Expo at 5 p.m. in Wythe Hall’s Library Gallery and a presentation by renowned poet, author and educator Nikki Giovanni at 7:30 p.m. in the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium, Templin Hall.  The free events are open to the public.

In addition to Giovanni, a Distinguished Professor of English in Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the event will include panelists leading a discussion themed “Rise Up: Achievement Through Education.”  Joining Thomas Nelson Provost Gregory McLeod as panelists are special guests William & Mary Sharpe Associate Professor of Civic Renewal and Entrepreneurship of Theatre and Africana Studies Artisia Green and Marian Clifton, former director of Christopher Newport University’s Multicultural Student Affairs. 

About Nikki Giovanni
Giovanni joined Virginia Tech’s English faculty as a Commonwealth Visiting Professor in 1987 and became a full professor in 1989. A devoted teacher, she has been a visiting professor and poet-in-residence at numerous colleges.

Celebrated particularly for her poetry, she has used her literary gifts to address social issues, especially those of gender and race, for decades. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Fisk University in 1967 and had already built a reputation as an outspoken activist for civil rights and equality by that time.

Having published her first books of verse in 1968, Giovanni has published more than two dozen volumes of poetry, essays and edited anthologies. Her body of work also includes 11 illustrated children’s books and an autobiography, "Gemini," which was a finalist for the 1973 National Book Award.  Her album, "The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection," was a Grammy finalist for the Best Spoken Word Album.

Among her numerous awards is the inaugural Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award, the American Book Award, the Langston Hughes Award, the Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts and the Emily Couric Leadership Award. She is also a seven-time NAACP Image Award recipient and has had 27 honorary degrees bestowed upon her.

Visit for more information about Thomas Nelson’s Feb. 10 Black History Month observance.