Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy Like My Sister Kate: Looking at the Harlem Renaissance Through Poems
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Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy Like My Sister Kate: Looking at the Harlem Renaissance Through Poems

by Nikki Giovanni, Giovanni
     
 

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A remarkable collection of poetry from the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, stitched together with commentary from Giovanni.... An important resource for those interested in poetry and in understanding the African American experience.

Overview

A remarkable collection of poetry from the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, stitched together with commentary from Giovanni.... An important resource for those interested in poetry and in understanding the African American experience.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This is a fine collection whatever the need: for poetry shelves, black history collections, social consciousnessraising sessions, cultural literacy courses--or for anyone who likes the sight of words that shimmy shimmy shimmy on the page.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A remarkable collection of poetry from the Harlem Renaissance and beyond.... this title is an important resource for those interested in poetry and in understanding the African American experience.” —School Library Journal

“Poet Giovanni celebrates the great flowering of African American poetry when writers such as Langston Hughes, Robert Hayden, and Countee Cullen spoke for the people with powerful simplicity. The poetry sings for all of us with sadness, anger, humor, and grace.” —Hazel Rochman, Booklist

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-A remarkable collection of poetry from the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, stitched together with commentary by Giovanni. Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Robert Hayden, Ntozake Shange, and Gwendolyn Brooks are among the powerful voices included. W.E.B. DuBois, not primarily known as a poet, is shown here to be one of accomplishment. After each poem, Giovanni points out, in a readable, almost conversational style, the poet's significance and relationship to the movement. The choice of poems is sometimes idiosyncratic, and the reminiscences are quite personal and sometimes quirky. But Giovanni is always on the mark, even when she pursues a tangent, and always comes back to the role of the Harlem Renaissance in influencing African American artists. As the book progresses, the poetry becomes more difficult, and those who seek to use it as a textbook should be prepared to help students understand some of the selections. There are some serious, provocative, and violent themes, but this title is an important resource for those interested in poetry and in understanding the African American experience.-Ruth K. MacDonald, Bay Path College, Longmeadow, MA
Kirkus Reviews
An annotated collection of poems from the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, presented by a master teacher and a terrific storyteller. Exhorting, cajoling, willing readers to listen and to hear, Giovanni (Put a Genie in a Jar, p. 447, etc.) starts each chapter with a poem or poems from an African-American writer such as Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Margaret Walker, or Ishmael Reed, covering 23 poets in all. She discusses, briefly, the lives of these writers, the context of African-American history, and the structure and sense of the poems in short chapters. The book is a conversation—readers can almost hear Giovanni talking—as she anticipates questions, clarifies obscurities, and utterly beguiles with her passion and personal feelings for the writers.

Much of the poetry is painful to read: Ntozake Shange on female genital mutilation; Gwendolyn Brooks on the murder of Emmett Till. There is an underlying joy, however, in tune with the music of the language. This is a fine collection whatever the need: for poetry shelves, black history collections, social consciousnessraising sessions, cultural literacy courses—or for anyone who likes the sight of words that shimmy shimmy shimmy on the page.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805034943
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
04/15/1996
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Nikki Giovanni has written many books of poetry for children and adults. She is the author of Lincoln and Douglass, The Genie in the Jar, and Ego-tripping and Other Poems for Young People. Rosa is a Caldecott Honor book. Giovanni calls herself, "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." She was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and grew up in Lincoln Heights, an all-black suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. She studied at Fisk University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University.

She published her first book of poetry, Black Feeling Black Talk, in 1968, and since then has become one of America's most widely read poets. Oprah Winfrey named her as one of her twenty-five "Living Legends." Her autobiography Gemini was a finalist for the National Book Award, and several of her books have received NAACP Image Awards. She has received some twenty-five honorary degrees, been named Woman of the Year by Mademoiselle Magazine, The Ladies Home Journal and Ebony, was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award, and has been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry.

Nikki Giovanni lives in Christiansburg, Virginia, where she is a professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

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