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Rule breaker, champion of women and education, and recovering sports journalist.

With her new book ‘Make Me Rain,’ the 77-year-old outspoken poet adds to her revolutionary body of work

Portrait photo of Nikki Giovanni against a black background.
Nikki Giovanni. Photo: Deborah Feingold

We know Nikki Giovanni as a guiding light, an outspoken truth-teller, and an award-winning author. She’s one of our living legends, an honor Oprah bestowed upon her 14 years ago. But Nikki — as she insists on being called — doesn’t fuss over titles or accolades. “I’m just a poet,”…

The poet and organizer reflects on writing, hoops, and relationships

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Jennie Bergqvist

Poet Mahogany L. Browne made her young adult novel debut in January with Chlorine Sky, a literary gift told in verse. Chock full of resonant Black girl childhood moments, Chlorine Sky is a coming-of-age story about the power and perils of a young friendship and the growing pains it takes…

Hey, Fam —

Eight people in Georgia were killed Tuesday night after a 21-year-old white domestic terrorist went on a shooting rampage at three massage spas. Six of them were Asian women. …

Hey, Fam —

After watching Judas and the Black Messiah and The United States vs. Billie Holiday, I gotta say this recent string of historical dramas with a heavy informant POV is not for me. So when Marked Man, an upcoming project inspired by the book Negro with a Hat…

Hey, Fam —

This month, Texas endured a cold snap with record-low temperatures and snowfall. Millions of residents were left without electricity and heat after Texas’ vulnerable independent power grid failed. Some folks had no running water, while others had to boil theirs. Frozen pipes burst. Icy roads were impassable…

Black woman relaxing at home on her sofa.
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Many of us are either caught up in multitasking a day’s worth of work (for both for the job and home) or frozen on our couches, trying to make sense of the stunning events of the last year. Our bodies are fatigued; our minds are fogged. …

Creating a repository of jams helps us sustain meaningful relationships

Black woman listening to music on headphones at home.
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

A few days ago, my dear friend, Sabrina Ford, texted me about building a playlist with her. She described it as “the cutest friend activity” and insisted “we need to do one.” I was sold instantly. Friendship in the time of Covid is challenging. So any activity to help maintain…

Hearing her words, and her voice, makes the resonance that much deeper and the storytelling that much richer

Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day is my favorite collection of poetry by Nikki Giovanni. It’s been about 13 years since I was first introduced to it, falling deeply in love with the titular poem. I still cling to “Habits,” “Woman,” “Introspection,” and “Crutches,” which deftly declares:

emotional falls always…

Whitney Houston sings the national anthem before the start of Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991.

“I want every Black woman to receive the confirmation of resilience and brilliance she rightfully deserves,” wrote Danyel Smith in her stunning opening essay for the ZORA Music Canon last year. This isn’t just a desire. Smith put this into action.

Today, the seasoned and highly-decorated music and culture journalist…

Hey, Fam:

It’s been a joy watching our lil sis Chloe Bailey grow up. She’s become one of the most talented musicians of her generation and grown into a young woman flexing her agency. I know I sound like a proud auntie. I’ll take that. On the flip side, it’s…

Christina M. Tapper

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