110+ Nikki Giovanni Quotes On Education, Writing And Inspiring

quote by
Nikki Giovanni inspirational quote

Top 10 Nikki Giovanni Quotes (BEST)

  1. Deal with yourself as a individual, worthy of respect and make everyone else deal with you the same way.
  2. Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.
  3. We love because it's the only true adventure.
  4. Mistakes are a fact of life. If you are willing to be wrong then you have earned the right to be right.
  5. Now, everything I do, I do because I want to. And I believe the best is yet to come.
  6. I really don't think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don't mind the failure but I can't imagine that I'd forgive myself if I didn't try.
  7. There're two people in the world that are not likeable: a master and a slave.
  8. We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained.
  9. I would put books on par with chocolate, because a good book is delicious.
  10. go barefoot and be warm all the time not only when you go to bed and sleep

Nikki Giovanni Image Quotes

Go to table of contents

quote by Nikki Giovanni

We love because it's the only true adventure. — Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni Short Quotes

Go to table of contents

  • Art is not for the cultivated taste. It is to cultivate taste.
  • Schools should be integrated by race and by class.
  • Floating to shore...riding a low moon...on a slow cloud.
  • If you don't understand yourself you don't understand anybody else.
  • We eat up artists like there's going to be a famine at the end.
  • I move on feeling and have learned to distrust those who don't.
  • Just as nature abhors a vacuum, humans resist change. Change will occur; vacuums will be filled.
  • And like an unfaithful mate, once a car has let you down you never sort of trust it again.
  • Ever been kidnapped by a poet if i were a poet i'd kidnap you put you in my phrases and meter.
  • it's a sex object if you're pretty and no love or love and no sex if you're fat

Nikki Giovanni Quotes On Love

Go to table of contents

I love you because no two snowflakes are alike, and it is possible, if you stand tippy-toe, to walk between the raindrops. — Nikki Giovanni

Some say we are responsible for those we love. Others know we are responsible for those who love us. — Nikki Giovanni

Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations. — Nikki Giovanni

Black love is black wealth — Nikki Giovanni

Everybody that loves freedom loves Harriet Tubman because she was determined not only to be free, but to make free as many people as she could. — Nikki Giovanni

I am so hip even my errors are correct — Nikki Giovanni

If you were a pure bolt of fire-cutting the skies I'd touch you-risking my life-not because I'm brave or strong, but because I'm fascinated by what the outcome would be. — Nikki Giovanni

Everyone understands that love comes in many different packages and is used in many different ways. You cannot love beyond your years, nor can you fail to love beneath them... In other words, I think you get the love you need when you open your heart. — Nikki Giovanni

I wish that she had had a black loon because I don't think that Nina [Simone] did. I have always had - I've been very fortunate - a group of little old ladies that I love and who love me, and who turned and to whom I turn at different times. — Nikki Giovanni

Black love is Black wealth and they'll probably talk about my hard childhood and never understand that all the while I was quite happy — Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni Quotes On Education

Go to table of contents

It is not who you attend school with but who controls the school you attend. — Nikki Giovanni

Poetry is the most mistaught subject in any school because we teach poetry by form and not by content. — Nikki Giovanni

Educational progress is a national concern; education is a private one. — Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni Quotes On Life

Go to table of contents

Mistakes are a fact of life it is the response to error that counts. — Nikki Giovanni

Life is a process where people mix and match, fall apart and come back together. — Nikki Giovanni

The only advice [for new writers and poets] I can offer is to be yourself: not the self someone else wants you to be, but the self you are. Enjoy yourself and your life. But most of all travel and eat. That's how we learn. — Nikki Giovanni

I don't have a life-style, I have a life. — Nikki Giovanni

Life is a marvelous, transitory adventure. — Nikki Giovanni

you know a person is having a severe personality crisis if you see a high school class ring on a finger beyond the first semester in college. Male or female. It's a big sign saying nothing has mattered to my life since senior year. — Nikki Giovanni

I think that too many strangers were in her [Nina Simone's] life, and not enough people that she knew and loved. — Nikki Giovanni

For most of my life, I've thought of myself as pretty cool. — Nikki Giovanni

Young people coming up who are having difficulty with their so-called celebrity need to get back into their lives. It's your life and you can't let the fact that you do something pretty good take away the joy of it. — Nikki Giovanni

Iife/personality must be taken as a total entity. All of your life is all of your life, and no one incident stands alone. — Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni Quotes On Writing

Go to table of contents

Writing is a conversation with reading; a dialogue with thinking. All conversations with older people contain repetition. Some of the ideas mean a lot to me, just interesting, so I both embrace and attack the ideas because I found them, well, delightful. — Nikki Giovanni

There is no such thing as writer's block. There is only not enough information. If you can't write, learn something. — Nikki Giovanni

We all have our muses. My grandmother and my mother are the people I write for. I'll never have to worry about who buys my work, or who likes it, and who doesn't. The people who I want to be proud of me already are. — Nikki Giovanni

[To write poems] I think it's important to do research, and research mostly is going to come from books, so all of your reading is potentially helpful to your poetry. — Nikki Giovanni

Photographers direct the eye toward a particular object. We who write, one hopes, are directing the heart and the soul. — Nikki Giovanni

The poet can only write the poems; it takes the reader to complete the meaning. — Nikki Giovanni

You must be unintimidated by your own thoughts because if you write with someone looking over you shoulder, you'll never write. — Nikki Giovanni

I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy. — Nikki Giovanni

Language instruction should start in the first grade. Writing, also. — Nikki Giovanni

Nothing improves your writing, I think, as much as your keeping writing. — Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni Quotes On People

Go to table of contents

A lot of people refuse to do things because they don't want to go naked, don't want to go without guarantee. But that's what's got to happen. You go naked until you die. — Nikki Giovanni

VISIBILITY - You've got to find a way to make people know you're there — Nikki Giovanni

White people really deal more with God and black people with Jesus. — Nikki Giovanni

I think one of the nicest things that we created as a generation was just the fact that we could say, 'Hey, I don't like white people.' — Nikki Giovanni

Black Americans should be given credit for finding probably the perfect weapon; the weapon of the song. And that song continues. Most holocausts don't, so they have this bitterness left over. The phenomenon of the world, as far as Black Americans are considered, is that we are not a bitter people. — Nikki Giovanni

I’ve not learned the acceptable way of saying you fascinate me...I’ve not even learned how to say I like you without frightening people away- — Nikki Giovanni

I hope that, reading 'Rosa,' people will remember their own family and friends and talk about what they did and did not do. — Nikki Giovanni

I knew Stokely [Carmichael] and them, but when you got to that, you saw that Nina Simone started to take up their burden. She started to preach for them. She was taking on the burden of "I want to tell the people." — Nikki Giovanni

I am honest; I try to be truthful. I like people and wish us well. We are not always deserving of our own best wishes. — Nikki Giovanni

It's not a ladder we're climbing, it's literature we're producing. . . . We cannot possibly leave it to history as a discipline nor to sociology nor science nor economics to tell the story of our people. — Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni Quotes On Fact

Go to table of contents

One stands, in fact, in awe of the Constitution of the United States, though it is an idea and not quite a reality. — Nikki Giovanni

Facts are only tools to gain control over yourself and other people. — Nikki Giovanni

A lot of people refuse to do things because they don't want to go naked... . We as black people, we as people, we as the human species have got to get used to the fact we're not going to be right most of the time, not even when our intentions are good. We've got to go naked and see what happens. — Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni Famous Quotes And Sayings

Go to table of contents

quote by Nikki Giovanni

We love because it's the only true adventure. — Nikki Giovanni

We [Black people] have always used our creativity to battle and we're not the only ones. Black Americans are certainly leaders in that simply because we were denied education and dealt with enforced illiteracy. But people seem to always forget that literacy is not the only way of learning things or conveying knowledge. — Nikki Giovanni

If you are sitting there waiting for someone to tell you how wonderful you are, you'll never get anything done. Women need to get over being women. I'm tired of that socialization of women; that we are always supposed to be sitting around pleasing somebody. — Nikki Giovanni

A white face goes with a white mind. Occasionally a black face goes with a white mind. Very seldom a white face will have a black mind. — Nikki Giovanni

I am of the generation of segregation. Black Lives Matter is post. I said today, and I will say all the time, "If Nina [Simone] were here, she'd have her Black Lives Matter [T-shirt] on." I think they're great kids. They don't need me or anybody else to tell them what to do. — Nikki Giovanni

When younger, I thought one of the particulars of being "Homo sapiens" was to communicate. I have not learned not to, though I am cautious when I try. — Nikki Giovanni

I am a huge fan of the Black woman. I never hesitate to recommend her when times are bad or things go wrong. — Nikki Giovanni


I appreciate my my sleep In sleep my conversation is witty My home is dusted My office work is up to date The dog is even well behaved And food is on the table on time But then when I'm asleep I don't have you to clutter and confuse My hungry heart — Nikki Giovanni

His headstone said FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST But death is a slave's freedom We seek the freedom of free men And the construction of a world Where Martin Luther King could have lived and preached nonviolence. — Nikki Giovanni

What's the difference between dragging a black man behind a truck in Jasper, Texas, and beating a white boy to death in Wyoming because he's gay? — Nikki Giovanni

[To become a poet] The most important thing is to pay attention. The next would probably be to read; it's so important to pay attention. It keeps you from being bored, and I might add it keeps you from being boorish. — Nikki Giovanni

Poetry is like air. It's one of the necessary things. Everyone benefits from poetry. And as you know, poetry is international. There are only two things that are truly international, poetry and wine. — Nikki Giovanni

Nina Simone's music is incredibly honest. That's like saying, "Why does Jesus' word still stay around?" It's incredibly honest and it's good. — Nikki Giovanni

I am proud of the hip hop generation. They are good business people and, actually, good people. It's strange that the only time the major press talks about them is when someone gets killed or does drugs or something; yet these are the same press people who made heroes out of the Mafia and other crooks, you know. — Nikki Giovanni

School buildings should be opened and used twenty four hours a day. — Nikki Giovanni

If culture was a railroad, I can see the tracks running from the Spirituals to the Hip Hop Nation. — Nikki Giovanni

I used to go up to her house. She lived upstate [in New York] and I lived in Manhattan; you're living in a lot of noise and my career was being built. For me to spend time with Nina [Simone] is to spend a lot of quiet time. — Nikki Giovanni

I think it's the strength of her music, using art to make a statement. I think it really is. It was not a cheap gift. The gift was an expensive gift for Nina [Simone]. Diamonds are expensive. Her music was expensive. She paid for it, but I think it's her greatest gift. — Nikki Giovanni

Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying. — Nikki Giovanni

Being Black and poor is, I think, radically different from being anything else and poor. Poor, to most Blacks, is a state of mind. Those who accept it are poor; those who struggle are middle class. — Nikki Giovanni

Don't want to be near you for the thoughts we share but the words we never have to speak. — Nikki Giovanni

I was responding to one thing for the woman I knew, and there's another thing for what did she give, right. She [Nina Simone] was a great teacher. — Nikki Giovanni

I always loved English because whatever human beings are, we are storytellers. It is our stories that give a light to the future. When I went to college I became a history major because history is such a wonderful story of who we think we are. English is much more a story of who we really are. — Nikki Giovanni

God knows it's a sign of a really sick mind to see grown people, adults with responsibilities, wearing class rings. — Nikki Giovanni

But nonviolence was never for the oppressor; it was for the oppressed. — Nikki Giovanni

The job of the architect becomes more difficult in this secular age. Where once he had a god to extol, he now has humans like himself; where once he had "he," he now has "she" and "they. — Nikki Giovanni

Poems don't have to rhyme... Poems are about beauty and emotion; in other words poems are about feelings. — Nikki Giovanni

I think life is cotton candy on a rainy day. For those who grew up with cotton candy the old-fashioned way, it is very delicate. Pre-made cotton candy that has preservatives is not nearly as good or true. True cotton candy is sugar, color, and air and it melts very quickly. That was the metaphor - it can't be preserved, it can't be put aside, it can't be banked. It has to be experienced, like life. — Nikki Giovanni

We need to make sure our children travel to see things. Not necessarily long distances but at least out of the neighborhood. On a train. A boat. An airplane. — Nikki Giovanni

My work is a part of me and I know it. I have no reason to try to pick one part of me out from the rest. I only see my work, or rather I should say I see my work only telling my part of the human experience. — Nikki Giovanni

I think we're always in love. It's that simple. And it's important to remember that love doesn't have anything to do with sex. It's two different things. Being in love is the happy part. I was teasing my gentleman, "We know that you're in love when you cook for us." It's true. When men cook for you, they're in love. — Nikki Giovanni

Poets can tell the truth as they see it. It’s the author’s story, the author’s voice. — Nikki Giovanni

There are things you stand up for because it’s right. — Nikki Giovanni

The nature of tragedy and accident is that we cannot predict. — Nikki Giovanni

We are less lonely when we connect. Art is connection. — Nikki Giovanni

If I can't do what I want to do, then my job is to not do what I want to do. It's not the same thing, but it's the best thing I can do. — Nikki Giovanni

We are better than we think and not yet what we want to be. — Nikki Giovanni

And you will understand all too soon That you, my children of battle, are your heroes — Nikki Giovanni

War is not a jobs program. — Nikki Giovanni

I am a big fan of the electronic book. I hate to see the old bookstores close, but they have to reinvent themselves. I believe the First Edition bookstore will be the next thing. People will read electronically, then decide they want to own that book. The author will then be invited to the old bookstores to sign. I think books will always be with us, but they will fill a different need. — Nikki Giovanni

I just think she was a wonderful woman. What I think of when I think of Nina [Simone] is someone that I could relate to, who didn't want anything from me, that could relate to me because I didn't want anything from her. It was nice. — Nikki Giovanni

We obviously need the truth. We're living in a country of lies. — Nikki Giovanni

I do not understand why any poet or writer would run for office; that's a different sense of who you are. I'm just a poet. I am as truthful as I can be. That makes me an artist. I heed the people; I do not lead the people. — Nikki Giovanni

Rage is to writers what water is to fish. — Nikki Giovanni

Once you know who you are, you don't have to worry anymore. — Nikki Giovanni

I'm glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility. (U.S. poet and writer, 1943- ) — Nikki Giovanni

In the name of peace They waged the wars ain't they got no shame — Nikki Giovanni

It's really just interesting to ask: why not? And see where that takes me. — Nikki Giovanni

Writers ... I think ... live on that fine line between insanity and genius. — Nikki Giovanni

The ability to take pride in your own work is one of the hallmarks of sanity. — Nikki Giovanni

I have not tried to tell the people anything. I have shared my views with the people but I have not tried to lead or correct them, assuming they need correction. — Nikki Giovanni

We just didn't put any pressure on each other, and I think that everybody needs somebody, and I didn't do it to try to do it; it's what we [with Nina Simone] were to each other. — Nikki Giovanni

Life Lessons by Nikki Giovanni

Go to table of contents

  1. Nikki Giovanni encourages us to be unapologetically ourselves and to take pride in our unique identities. She teaches us to be brave and to never give up on our dreams, no matter how hard the journey may be. Lastly, she reminds us to be kind to ourselves and to others, and to always strive for a better future.

In Conclusion

Which quote resonated with you best? Did you enjoy our collection of Nikki Giovanni quotes? Or may be you have a quotation about Nikki Giovanni to suggest. Let us know using our contact form.

About the author

This collection is managed by , with an extensive background in quote curation. They have meticulously gathered, researched, and compiled the quotes featured on this page. Every quote has been diligently cross-verified for its origin, its authenticity, and its potential influence on our readership.


Feel free to cite and use any of the quotes by Nikki Giovanni. For popular citation styles (APA, Chicago, MLA), go to citation page.

Embed HTML Link

Copy and paste this HTML code in your webpage