Tuesday, June 06, 2000
Poet's visit speaks volumes
By Sara J. Bennett
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LINCOLN HEIGHTS Nikki Giovanni, the award-winning poet who grew up in Lincoln Heights, told sixth-graders graduating from Lincoln Heights Elementary School on Monday never to forget where they come from.
To shouts and applause, she spoke of the struggles her predominantly black hometown has faced since it began in the 1920s as a community where poor workers could own property.
She spoke of the challenges Lincoln Heights faced when it tried to develop a tax base, only to watch neighboring communities hoard surrounding valuable land.
She spoke of the problems that still exist in the community, and she spoke of the pride she feels when she tells people she comes from Lincoln Heights.
When all the world was cheating us out of our land, when we were being cheated out of our history, we stood, and we made a haven a refuge and it has got to mean something, she told the students at a graduation reception.
Go forth, be wonderful, enjoy this life that you have, and take care of this history and this community that nurtures us all.
Ms. Giovanni, 56, who came to town at the urging of Lincoln Heights Mayor Shirley Salter, now teaches English at Virginia Tech. She told sixth-graders on Monday to avoid stupid decisions and to ignore people who may tell them they can't be doctors, lawyers or whatever they desired.
You have to remember, these are the same people that said, what good can come out of Bethlehem, she said.
Students answered her words of encouragement with a program that included singing, original poetry, and a group recitation of one of Ms. Giovanni's poems.
Ms. Giovanni urged those students to use their talents to the fullest and leave negative influences behind.
From here on out, we make decisions for the future and not based on the past, she said. We let the anger stay behind. The people that held us back stay behind.
If we don't leave those people behind, they pull us down.
Sex with student nets prison
Progress against food allergies
Hospital targets food disorders
Grandparents' rights dealt a setback
Excerpts of Supreme Court decision
Archdiocese clears priest in stabbing case
Murder-for-hire sentences: 40+ years
Neighbors' dispute leaves Mason man critical
PULFER: A big gift from the graduate
DUI repeater dies in car chase
More seniors pass proficiency test
Teacher may have uncovered rare D-Day tank
Teacher training changes on deck
SAMPLES: School audit chance for fresh start
Doctors take step to save trashy house
Grads get real-world advice
Pig Parade: Piggy Max
Movie gives Leis two reasons to party
GET TO IT
KIESEWETTER: MTV veteran on network TV Colin Mortensen from MTV's Real World is getting the last laugh.
Troupe stumbles with production of 'Threepenny'
VoiceBox effortlessly mixes musical genres
$4.1M post office opens in Mason
Clerk accused of campaign violation
Enquirer sues for stadium documents
Five up for police chief
GOP picks 2 alternates who gave to Lucas
Greater Cincinnati Digest
Gunman, lawyer killed in shootout
Home for pregnant teens wins appeal
'Horse Mania' to strike
Kids get free meals
New school district has its leader
Poet's visit speaks volumes
Pollution labels to last longer
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Reading schools hire junior-senior principal
Report blasts city manager
Signs point to litter cleanup
Waste facility drops plan
Welfare eligibility change to benefit hundreds in Ky.