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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Favorite Nikki Giovanni Poem, All Eyez on U

Hello everyone. I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday. Here is another one of my favorite Nikki Giovanni poems, it was written in honor of Tupac Shakur, entitled "All Eyez on U."

If you didn't get a chance to read Nikki Giovanni's Interview Part 2, please do so. Leave a comment and let us know what you thought about the interview. I would like to get more renowned poets and writers, but we have to show them so love. I enjoy them, I hope you do too, so please leave a comment and let them know you do too. If you haven't joined the Spotlight Poetry Contest, there is still time to do so, just got the Spotlight Poetry Submission tab for more details.

Enjoy and have a blessed day!

"All Eyez on U" by Nikki Giovanni

as I tossed and turned unable to achieve sleep unable to control anxiety unable to comprehend why
2Pac is not with us
if those who live be the sword died be the sword there would be no white men on the earth
if those who lived on hatred died on hatred there would be no KKK
if those who lived by lies died by lies there would be nobody on wall
street in executive suits in academic offices instructing the young
don’t tell me he got what he deserved
he deserved a chariot and the accolades of a grateful people
he deserved his life
it is as clear as a mountain stream as defining as a lightning strike
as terrifying as sun to vampires
there were those who called it dirty
gansta rap inciting there were those who never wanted to be
angry at conditions but angry at the messenger who reported:
your kitchen has roaches your toilet is over flowing you basement has so much water the rats are in the living room your house is in disorder
and 2Pac told you about it
what a beautiful boy graceful carriage melodic voice sharp wit intellectual breadth
what a beautiful boy to loose
not me
never me
I don’t believe east coast west coast
I saw them murder Emmett Till I saw them murder Malcolm X
I saw them murder
Martin Luther King
I witnessed them shooting Rap Brown I saw them beat LeRoi Jones
I saw them fill there jails I see them burning churches
not me
never me
I do not believe this is some sort of mouth action
This is some sort of political action and they picked well
they picked the brightest freshest fruit from the tallest tree
what a beautiful boy
but he will not go away
as Malcolm did not go away
as Emmett Till did not go away
your shooting him will not take him from us
his spirit will fill our hearts
his courage will strengthen us for the challenge
his truth will straighten our backbones
you know, Socrates had a mother
she too watched here son drink hemlock
she too asked why
but Socrates stood firm and would not lie to save himself
2Pac has a mother
the lovely Afeni had to bury her son
it is not right
it is not right that this young warrior is cut down
it is not right for the old to bury the young
it is not right
this generation mourns 2Pac as my generation mourned Till as we all mourn Malcolm
this wonderful you warrior
Sonia Sanchez said when she learned of his passing she walked all day
walking the beautiful warrior home to our ancestors I just cried as all
mothers cry for the beautiful boy who said he and Mike Tyson would
never be allowed to be free at the same time who told the truth about
them and who told the truth about us who is our beautiful warrior
there are those who wanted to make him the problem
who wanted to believe if they silenced 2Pac all would be quiet on the ghetto
front there are those who testified that the problem wasnÕt the conditions
but the people talking about them
they took away band
so the boys started scratching they took away gym
so the boys started break dancing the boys started dancing the boys started rapping
cause they gave them the guns and the drugs but not the schools and libraries
what a beautiful boy to loose
and we mourn 2Pac Shakur and we reach out to his mother and we
hung ourselves in sadness and shame
and we are compelled to ask:
R U Happy, Mz Tucker? 2Pac is gone
R U Happy?

What is your favorite Nikki Giovanni poem? And what poem do you remember most by Ms. Nikki Giovanni?


  1. I did not know this was written by N.G. I recall reading this one on my nephew wall of his bedroom by his study desk.

  2. loving this poem, loving the emotion pouring from it.

  3. I used to really like me some Tupac and loved the Makavelli(sp?) album. I used to watch his interviews and think that he was so intelligent and brilliant.

  4. That's a beautiful poem!! Thanks for sharing!

    Also, I love the new look of your blog!

  5. My favorite Nikki Giovanni poem is "A Poem of Friendship." When my husband and I got married in 1998, I was looking for an appropriate poem to use for our welcome/thank you scrolls for our wedding. I wanted a love poem, but also a poem that spoke about friendship because my husband and I were such good friends besides being in love. I found her book "Love Poems" at a bookstore and I found the perfect poem! It so much described our relationship at the time. I will always love that poem and I thank Nikki for writing it.

    Lena, I LOVE your new layout and your slideshow header. Gorgeous!


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