65 Nikki Giovanni Quotes On Success In Life

Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni Jr is an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. One of the world’s most well-known African-American poets her work includes poetry anthologies, poetry recordings, and nonfiction essays, and covers topics ranging from race and social issues to children’s literature. She has won numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal and the NAACP Image Award. These Nikki Giovanni quotes will motivate you.

Best Nikki Giovanni Quotes

  1. “She knows who she is because she knows who she isn’t.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  2. “Deal with yourself as a individual, worthy of respect and make everyone else deal with you the same way.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  3. “There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  4. “Style has a profound meaning to Black Americans. If we can’t drive, we will invent walks and the world will envy the dexterity of our feet. If we can’t have ham, we will boil chitterlings; if we are given rotten peaches, we will make cobblers; if given scraps, we will make quilts; take away our drums, and we will clap our hands. We prove the human spirit will prevail. We will take what we have to make what we need. We need confidence in our knowledge of who we are.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  5. “Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  6. “A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are. Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you’re in and take advantage of it.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  7. “We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  8. “The only way you can grow is to let yourself make mistakes and create contradictions. As we learn new things, some of our old attitudes will change.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  9. “The unwillingness to try is worse than any failure.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  10. “Mistakes are a fact of life. If you are willing to be wrong then you have earned the right to be right.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  11. “If now isn’t a good time for the truth I don’t see when we’ll get to it.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  12. “We have a world to conquer…one person at a time…starting with ourselves.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  13. “Now, everything I do, I do because I want to. And I believe the best is yet to come.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  14. “Once you know who you are, you don’t have to worry anymore.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  15. “We are better than we think and not yet what we want to be.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  16. “You must be unintimidated by your own thoughts.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  17. “We love because it’s the only true adventure.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  18. “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
  19. “There are things you stand up for because it’s right.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  20. “Art offers sanctuary to everyone willing to open their Hearts as well as their Eyes.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  21. “Libraries…house our dreams.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  22. “We obviously need the truth. We’re living in a country of lies.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  23. “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.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  24. “Art is not for the cultivated taste. It is to cultivate taste.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  25. “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
  26. “You do what you can with what you have. You have to work the edges whatever they are. The main thing is keeping your integrity.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  27. “It’s really just interesting to ask: why not? And see where that takes me.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  28. “I used to dream militant dreams of taking over America to show these white folks how it should be done I used to dream radical dreams of blowing everyone away with my perceptive powers of correct analysis I even used to think that I’d be the one to stop the riot and negotiate the peace then I awoke & dug that if I dreamed natural dreams of being a natural woman doing what a woman does when she’s natural I would have a revolution.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  29. “I don’t have a lifestyle, I have a life.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  30. “I would put books on par with chocolate because a good book is delicious.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  31. “If I can’t have what I want . . . then my job is to want what I’ve got and be satisfied that at least there is something more to want” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  32. “Who I really am keeps surprising me.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  33. “If you don’t understand yourself you don’t understand anybody else.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  34. “Black love is black wealth” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  35. “Some say we are responsible for those we love. Others know we are responsible for those who love us.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  36. “Show me someone not full of herself and I’ll show you a hungry person.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  37. “History is wonderful. We have so much we can learn if we would quit making ideology out of history, and just deal with what happened.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  38. “I hope I die warmed by the life that I tried to live.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  39. “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
  40. “The poet can only write the poems; it takes the reader to complete the meaning.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  41. “No one needs to teach you to be mean; we need to be taught to be kind.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  42. “We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  43. “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
  44. “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
  45. “the world is not a pleasant place to be without someone to hold and be held by.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  46. “There are some things we do simply because the doing is a success.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  47. “Daddy says the world is a drum-tight and hard and I told him I’m gonna beat out my own rhythm.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  48. “Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  49. “There is no such thing as writer’s block. There is only not enough information. If you can’t write, learn something.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  50. “The more you love someone the more he wants from you and the less you have to give since you’ve already given him your love.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  51. “America may not be the best nation on earth, but it has conceived loftier ideals and dreamed higher dreams than any other nation. America is a heterogeneous nation of many different people of different races, religions, and creeds. Should this experiment go forth and prosper, we will have offered humans a new way to look at life; should it fail, we will simply go the way of all failed civilizations.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  52. “I’m glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility. (U.S. poet and writer, 1943- )” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  53. “VISIBILITY – You’ve got to find a way to make people know you’re there” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  54. “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
  55. “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
  56. “Follow your image as far as you can no matter how useless you think it is. Push yourself.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  57. “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
  58. “Rage is to writers what water is to fish.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

  59. “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
  60. “Poetry is the most informative of all of the arts because everything comes down to poetry. No matter what it is we are describing, ultimately we use either a metaphor; or we say “that’s poetry in motion.” You drink a glass of wine and say, “that’s poetry in a bottle.” Everything is poetry, so I think we come down to emotional information. And that’s what poetry conveys.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  61. “In the name of peace
    They waged the wars
    ain’t they got no shame” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  62. “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
  63. “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
  64. “They’re two people in the world that are not likable: a master and a slave.” ~ Nikki Giovanni
  65. “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

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