Poet Nikki Giovanni to speak at Martin Luther King Celebration


Seniors Lynda Jackson-Sealy of Queens Village, N.Y., and Brant Berndlmaier of Shelton, Conn., along with Junior, Felipe Polanco of Garneville, N.Y., have worked with members of the University community to schedule a series of events for January 26-29, when the students have returned from winter break. The events include a movie night, a multicultural marketplace, and a Martin Luther King, Jr. Awareness Workshop for local middle and high school students. A multi-cultural buffet and AHANA Student Council Unity Ball will bring the events to a close.

Ms. Giovanni, who has inspired readers of all ages with her poetry and prose, has carved out a prominent role as a strong voice of the black community. In her lectures she speaks with humor about her life and the creativity in everything we do and the power one has to make a difference.

All but one of her nearly 20 books are still in print, including "Black Feeling," "Black Talk/Black Judgment," "The Women and the Men," "Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day," and "Sacred Cows and other Edibles." A recording of her poems was one of the best-selling albums in the country, while her book, "Racism 101," included bold, controversial essays about the situation of Americans on all sides of the race issue. Her most recent book, "Blues: For All the Changes," made the Los Angeles Times Best Seller list, marking the first time a poet has ever been listed.

Ms. Giovanni has received a host of honorary doctorates and many awards, including being named "Woman of the Year," by three different magazines. Her book, "The Love Poems of Nikki Giovanni," was awarded the NAACP Image Award for 1998. Since 1987, she has been teaching writing, poetry, and literature at Virginia Tech. under the Commonwealth Visiting Professor Program.

Other MLK Events

The four-day celebration opens on Wednesday, Jan. 26, with a showing of "The Last Supper" in Gonzaga Auditorium at 8 p.m. for the University community. In addition, "Amistad" and "Four Little Girls" will be shown on the campus HAM Channel.

Thursday, Jan. 27, the day of Ms. Giovanni's visit, a multicultural market-place will be held by vendors and community groups in the Barone Campus Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and later in the Quick Center Lobby from 2-3 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 28, a community outreach session on oppression and its effects will be held for local middle school and high school students in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room.

Saturday, Jan. 29, the events come to a close with a multicultural buffet at 6:30 p.m. in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room, followed by the AHANA (African, Hispanic, Asian, Native American) Student Council Unity Ball at 9 p.m.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 5, 1999

Vol. 32, No. 130