City to Commemorate Nikki Giovanni

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City to Commemorate Nikki Giovanni

Posted: 03/27/2007
The City of Knoxville, with the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, is pleased to present native Knoxvillian and acclaimed author-poet Nikki Giovanni with an artistic rendering of the cultural marker that commemorates 400 Mulvaney Street.

The marker is currently being fabricated and will be installed on Hall of Fame Drive at the site of Ms. Giovanni's family home, which was standing until the mid 1960's when it was taken for urban renewal. Ms. Giovanni is the author of over 30 books, poems, children's literature, and essays including her 1994 children's poem, Knoxville, TN. "We're very proud that Nikki Giovanni is a daughter of Knoxville and very pleased to be able to honor her and her family today with this presentation," said Mayor Bill Haslam.

More About Nikki Giovanni

Ms. Giovanni was born in Knoxville General Hospital in 1943. The daughter of college educated parents in the Jim Crow South, her parents were left with few job options beyond menial labor. They moved the family to Cincinnati where they became educators. However, Nikki's family maintained strong ties with Knoxville, returning every summer to stay with her grandparents, John Brown and Emma Louvenia Watson, prompting her to call Knoxville her hometown. She enrolled in Austin High School in 1958, but left before graduating as an early entrant into Fisk University.

Ms. Giovanni is in Knoxville this week to launch her new book, On My Journey Now, on its national tour.