Listen to Nikki Giovanni perform ‘Poem for Aretha’

Aretha Franklin pictured in 1964 (© Hallhuber /Davids/Ropi via ZUMA Press)

“Aretha Franklin and I never discussed the poem I wrote about her,” says Nikki Giovanni in DG #32 in which she remembers the soul icon who passed away in August. Perhaps they should have. Giovanni is one of America’s foremost poets and a major force in the Black Arts Movement, a wave of African American art, poetry and literature which emerged in the ‘60s, inspired by the Black Power movement, and ‘Poem for Aretha’ is one her most powerful works. Written in 1968 it explores how the Queen Of Soul changed everything, but also how she might need to make time to take care of herself.

In DG #32 we talk to Ms Giovanni, who has won seven NAACP Image Awards, written three New York Times bestsellers and has been nominated for a Grammy and an Emmy, about her friendship with Aretha Franklin, her involvement in the civil rights movement and the time she was treated to a private concert by one of the most gifted musicians on the planet.

To whet your appetite here’s Nikki Giovanni performing ‘Poem for Aretha’ accompanied by the New York Community Choir…

 

 

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