Term of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Literature and Philosophy

Committee Chair

David Dudley

Committee Member 1

Caren Town

Committee Member 2

Richard Flynn


This project focuses on Nikki Giovanni’s history as a revolutionary female activist in The Black Arts Movement (BAM). The BAM was dedicated to advancing the livelihood of African-Americans through the arts. Nikki Giovanni recognized the tensions between being a revolutionary black woman and fitting society’s conventional standard of women. This paper highlights the life of an activist and poet engaged in a social revolution while trying to sustain a private life. Through the discussion of various poems in Black Feeling Black Talk/ Black Judgement (1970), this study explores the conflict between gender issues, race relations, and politics. As Giovanni positions herself as a revolutionary poet, she addresses the challenges black women faced to define their own voice under oppressive forces.

Research Data and Supplementary Material