Nikki Giovanni

Taylor Johnson

Yolande Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni Jr she was born June 7, 1943 . She is an american write , poet , activist , educator. She is now a professor at Virginia Tech.She was born in Knoxville, Tennessee , she grew up in Lincoln Heights. In 1960 she began her studies at Frisk University. She graduated with honors. She attended University Pennsylvania.SHe also graduated from her grandfather's alma mater with honors.Her autobiography, Gemini, was a finalist for the National Book Award; Love Poems, Blues: For All the Changes, Quilting the Black-Eyed PeaMost recently, her children's picture book Rosa, about the civil rights legend Rosa Parks, became a Caldecott Honors Book, and Bryan Collier, the illustrator, was given the Coretta Scott King award for best illustration. Rosa also reached #3 on The New York Times Bestseller list.Shortly after its release, Bicycles: Love Poems reached #1 on for Poetry.

Cotton Candy On A Rainy Day
Don't look now
I'm fading away
Into the gray of my mornings
Or the blues of every night

Is it that my nails
keep breaking
Or maybe the corn
on my secind little piggy
Things keep popping out
on my face or of my life

It seems no matter how
I try I become more difficult
to hold
I am not an easy woman
to want

They have asked
the psychiatrists . . . psychologists . . .
politicians and social workers
What this decade will be
known for

There is no doubt . . . it is

This is one of her poems. 👆

I chose this poem out of all of her poems because this one was different to me. This poem was a metaphor. I know this poem is a metaphor because it states in the poem that she was fading away. No one can really fade away thats how I know that its a metaphor.

This poem does not rhyme.The name of this poem does have something to do with the five senses. Well only one of them which is taste.

  • 1943 Born Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr., on 7 June in Knoxville General Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee, the daughter of Yolande Cornelia (1919- ) and Jones "Gus" Giovanni (1914-82), and the sister of Gary Ann (1940- ), aged two years, nine months. Knoxville is the home of Giovanni’s maternal grandparents, John Brown (1887-1962) and Emma Louvenia Watson (1898-1967). In August, the family of four moves to Cincinnati, Ohio, home of her father, where her parents take jobs as houseparents at Glenview School, a home for black boys. The children and their mother make frequent visits to their grandparents’ home in Knoxville throughout their childhood. At some point during Giovanni’s first three years, her sister–for reasons no one really understands–begins calling her baby sister "Nikki."
  • 1947 The family leaves Glenview and moves briefly to Woodlawn, a suburb of Cincinnati. Father teaches at South Woodlawn School and works evenings and weekends at the YMCA. Because Woodlawn has no elementary school for black children, sister Gary lives with father’s half-brother and his wife, Bill and Gladys Atkinson, in Columbus, Ohio, where she attends second grade.
  • 1948 Family moves to a house on Burns Avenue in nearby Wyoming, another suburb of Cincinnati. Giovanni begins kindergarten at Oak Avenue School, where her teacher is Mrs. Elizabeth Hicks, and her sister Gary enters third grade there.
  • 1949-52 Giovanni completes the first, second, and third grades at Oak Avenue School, while her sister completes the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. In 1951, her mother accepts a third-grade teaching position at St. Simon School, an all-black Episcopal school in the nearby black suburb of Lincoln Heights.
  • 1952 Gus Giovanni makes a down payment on a home at 1167 Jackson Street in Lincoln Heights and moves his family there. Originally, Giovanni’s parents had hoped to be able to build a home in a new all-black housing development called Hollydale. But after having had their money tied up in this real estate venture for several years, they realize that obtaining a loan to build a home was not going to be possible in the foreseeable future; racist lending practices simply could not be circumvented. With the money he makes from selling his stock in this venture, her father is able to make the down payment on the Jackson Street house. During World War II, Lincoln Heights had originally been known as The Valley Homes, affordable housing for employees of General Electric, but with the economic boom following the war, white residents of Valley Homes began moving to other suburbs. The United States government sold the homes to a corporation of black citizens, and Lincoln Heights was born.
  • Giovanni enters 4th grade at St. Simon School where her mother teaches 3rd grade. Her sister enrolls in 7th grade at South Woodlawn School, where their father teaches.
  • 1953-57 Giovanni continues her schooling at St. Simon’s School, where she completes 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Her seventh grade teacher, Sister Althea Augustine, is an important influence on her and ultimately becomes a lifelong friend. Her sister Gary enters Wyoming High School as one of the three black students who desegregate the previously all-white school. In 1955, when Emmett Till is killed, her teacher makes the comment that "He got what he deserved." Gary and her friend Beverly Waugh walk out in protest. Eventually, the school makes an official apology. Also during this period, Giovanni’s father quits his teaching job to take a better-paying position as a probation officer in the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Office. Through his contacts in that position, he is able to help Giovanni’s mother obtain a position with the Hamilton County Welfare Department, which carries better wages than the $100 a month she has been earning as a teacher at St. Simon’s School.
  • 1957-58 Giovanni enters the 9th grade at Lockland High School, an all-black school. Her sister’s negative experiences in desegregating Wyoming High School make her and her parents uninterested in having her try to attend one of the white high schools. Her sister Gary leaves home to attend Central State University. Meanwhile, the explosive tensions between her parents are difficult for Giovanni to handle. So, in the summer of 1958 she asks her grandmother Watson if she can come to Knoxville for the summer. Once she is there, however, she tells her grandparents her real plan: she wants to stay with them and attend school in Knoxville.
  • 1958-60 Giovanni enrolls in Austin High School, where her grandfather had taught Latin for so many years. Her grandmother, who is involved in numerous charitable and political endeavors, becomes an increasingly important influence on her, teaching her the importance of helping others and of fighting injustice. When a demonstration is planned to protest segregated dining facilities at downtown Rich’s department store, her grandmother Louvenia cheerfully volunteers her granddaughter Nikki. In high school, Giovanni has two influential teachers: her French teacher, Mrs. Emma Stokes, and her English teacher, Miss Alfredda Delaney. They persuade her to apply for early admission to college. Meanwhile, her sister Gary has a son, Christopher, in April of 1959. That summer, Giovanni returns to Cincinnati to take care of Christopher, who is living with her parents.
  • 1960-61 Giovanni goes to Nashville to enroll in Fisk University–her grandfather’s alma mater–as an Early Entrant. Academics present no problem to her, but she is unprepared for the conservatism of this small black college. Almost from the outset she runs into trouble with the Dean of Women, Ann Cheatam, whose ideas about the behavior and attitudes appropriate to a Fisk woman are diametrically opposed to Giovanni’s ideas about the intellectual seriousness and political awareness appropriate to a college student. In November, she goes back to Knoxville to spend Thanksgiving with her grandparents–without obtaining the necessary permission from Dean Cheatam. Just to compound the problem, when she visits Dean Cheatam the Monday after Thanksgiving, she articulates her contempt for the rules Dean Cheatam has in place. Not surprisingly, she is expelled from Fisk on 1 February. She goes back to Cincinnati where she lives with her parents. Her grandmother, far from uttering any reproach, travels to Nashville to meet with Dean Cheatam and later writes a letter protesting her decision.
  • 1961-63 Giovanni lives with her parents in Cincinnati, and takes care of her nephew, Christopher. She takes a job at Walgreens, but still helps with Christopher’s care. She also takes courses at the University of Cincinnati and does volunteer work with children and parents who are among her mother’s clients. Her parents move into another, better house in Lincoln Heights at 1168 Congress Avenue, just a few short blocks from the house on Jackson. In March 1962, her grandfather, John Brown Watson, dies and she drives her mother and nephew to Knoxville for the funeral.
  • 1964-66 Giovanni’s grandmother Louvenia is obliged to move from her home at 400 Mulvaney Street, which is sacrificed to "urban renewal." Although her new house on Linden Avenue is nice, it lacks the accumulated memories of the home on Mulvaney, which Giovanni has also come to regard as her own home. Giovanni travels to Fisk to explore the possibility of re-enrolling. She discovers that Dean Cheatam is gone and that her replacement, Blanche McConnell Cowan ("Jackie") is completely different. Dean Cowan purges the file Dean Cheatam collected on Giovanni and encourages her to come back to Fisk, which she does, in the Fall of 1964. With the nurture and support of Dean Cowan, Giovanni does well academically and becomes a leader on campus. She majors in history, but takes writers workshops with writer-in-residence John Oliver Killens. In the spring of 1966, at the First Writers Conference at Fisk, she meets Dudley Randall, who was soon to launch Broadside Press; Robert Hayden, Melvin Tolson, Margaret Walker, and LeRoi Jones, now Amiri Baraka. Edits a student literary journal (titled Èlan) and reestablishes the campus chapter of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). Publishes an essay in Negro Digest on gender questions in the Movement.
  • 1967 Moves back to Cincinnati, having completed her undergraduate coursework in December. Rents her own apartment. Receives her B.A. in History, with honors, on 28 January. Grandmother Louvenia Watson dies on 8 March, just two days before she was to have come to Cincinnati for a visit. Giovanni drives her mother, sister, and nephew to Knoxville for the funeral, marking the most significant loss of her life, before or since. She turns to writing as a refuge and produces most of the poems that will comprise her first volume, Black Feeling Black Talk. Edits Conversation, a Cincinnati revolutionary art journal. Attends the Detroit Conference of Unity and Art, where she meets H. Rap Brown (1943- ), now Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, and other movement leaders. Organizes a Black Arts Festival, Cincinnati’s first, for which she adapts and directs Virginia Hamilton’s Zeely for the stage. Moves to Wilmington, Delaware, and, with the help of a Ford Foundation fellowship, enrolls in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work. Works at a People’s Settlement House in Wilmington as a part of her graduate studies.
  • 1968 Borrows money to publish her first volume of poetry, Black Feeling Black Talk. Drops out of University of Pennsylvania but continues working at the Settlement House. Continues writing poems at a prodigious rate. Goes to Atlanta for funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated on 4 April. Receives grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Moves to New York City where she begins almost immediately to attract attention. Enrolls in an M. F. A. program at Columbia University’s School of Fine Arts. At the very end of the year, uses money made from sales of Black Feeling Black Talk and a grant from the Harlem Arts Council to privately publish her second volume of poetry, Black Judgement; Broadside Press offers to distribute it.
  • 1969 Teaches at Queens College. Has a Sunday afternoon book party (to promote Black Judgement) at the old Birdland jazz club, which attracts hundreds of people and makes the next day’s metro section of The New York Times. Receives increasing attention from the media and begins receiving invitations to read and speak. In April, The New York Times features her in an article entitled "Renaissance in Black Poetry Expresses Anger." The Amsterdam News names her one of the ten "most admired black women." Regularly publishes book reviews in Negro Digest. Travels to Cincinnati in August for Labor Day weekend and gives birth to Thomas Watson Giovanni, her only child. Returns to New York and begins teaching at Livingston College of Rutgers University; frequently makes the commute with the struggling writer, Toni Cade Bambara (1939-95).
  • 1970 Edits and privately publishes Night Comes Softly, one of the earliest anthologies of poetry by black women; it includes poems by new and relatively unknown writers as well as poems by such established poets as Margaret Walker and Mari Evans. Establishes NikTom, Ltd. Meets Ellis Haizlip (1929-91) and begins making regular appearances on his television program, Soul!, an entertainment/variety/talk show which promoted black art and culture and allowed political expression. (During the history of the show–1967-72–which aired on WNET, many important artists and leaders made appearances, including Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Gladys Knight, Miriam Makeba, and Stevie Wonder. Giovanni was for several years a "regular" on the show.) Giovanni publishes Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement as one volume with William Morrow Publisher. Publishes Re: Creation with Broadside Press. Writes and publishes the broadside, "Poem of Angela Yvonne Davis." Has become a recognized figure on the black literary scene; in the anthology We Speak As Liberators, published in this year, she is referred to as an "established name." Ebony magazine names her Woman of the Year.
  • 1971 Publishes autobiography, Gemini, and poems for children, Spin A Soft Black Song. Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement comes out in paperback. Records Truth Is On Its Way with the New York Community Choir. Performs with the choir in a concert to introduce the album at Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem before a crowd of 1,500. Continues regular appearances on Soul!, including an appearance in January with Lena Horne. The Mugar Memorial Library of Boston University approaches her about housing her papers and she accepts; today the Mugar has all of her papers and memorabilia. Contact magazine names her Best Poet in its annual awards. Mademoiselle magazine names her Woman of the Year. Travels to Africa. Truth is a phenomenal success, selling more than 100,000 copies in its first six months.Travels to London to tape special segments of Soul! with James Baldwin; these segments air on 15 and 22 December. Falls ill from exhaustion after returning to the United States.
  • 1972 Publishes My House. Joins National Council of Negro Women. Receives an honorary doctorate from Wilberforce University, becoming the youngest person so honored by the nation’s oldest black college. Truth Is On Its Way receives N.A.T.R.A.’s (National Association of Television and Radio Announcers) Award for Best Spoken Word Album. Receives widespread attention from print media, including such publications as Jet, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and Ebony. Appears frequently on Soul! and makes a guest appearance on the Tonight show. Plays an active role in a new publication undertaken by her friend, Ida Lewis, Encore, later renamed Encore American & Worldwide News, a black news magazine. Until 1980, Giovanni acts as consultant and contributes a regular column for the magazine and also helps finance it. Puts on a free Father’s Day concert with La Belle at Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem. Performs at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center with the New York Community Choir and La Belle. Receives key to Lincoln Heights, Ohio. Reads at the Paul Laurence Dunbar Centennial in Dayton, Ohio, where she and Paula Giddings, then an editor at Howard University Press, conceive the idea of a book composed of a conversation between Giovanni and Margaret Walker (1915-98). Travels to Walker’s home in Jackson, Mississippi, in November to begin the tapings.
  • 1973 Publishes Ego Tripping and Other Poems for Young Readers and A Dialogue: James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni, an edited transcription of the videotaping she did with Baldwin for two episodes of Soul! Releases the album Like A Ripple On A Pond. The American Library Association names My House one of the best books of 1973. Gemini is nominated for a National Book Award. Meets Margaret Walker in Washington, D.C., to complete the tapings for their book. On 14 May, receives a Woman of the Year Award from the Ladies’ Home Journal; the ceremony, held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, airs nationwide and Giovanni is criticized for accepting the award. Throws a 30th birthday party for herself on 21 June at New York’s Philharmonic Hall; the recital an introduction by Reverend Ike and guest appearances by Wilson Pickett and Melba Moore. Is initiated as an honorary member into Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., at its convention in Atlanta in August. Takes her sister, Gary, to Paris to celebrate Gary’s graduation from Xavier University (Cincinnati). Receives Life Membership and Scroll from the National Council of Negro Women. Goes on an African lecture tour sponsored by U.S.I.A.; is able to bring son, Thomas, and his nanny, Deborah Russell, a former student of her at Rutgers. They visit Ghana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Nigeria.
  • 1974-77 Publishes A Poetic Equation: Conversations Between Nikki Giovanni and Margaret Walker (1974) and The Women and the Men (1975). Releases the albums The Way I Feel (1975), Legacies (1976), and The Reason I Like Chocolate (1976). Receives honorary doctorates from Ripon University, the University of Maryland/Princess Anne Campus, and Smith College. Continues to write essays for Encore American & World-Wide News. Lectures extensively at colleges and universities across the country. Travels to Rome for the United Nations’ First World Food Conference (1974).
  • 1978-82 Publishes Cotton Candy On A Rainy Day and releases album with same title (1978). Publishes Vacation Time in 1979. In 1978, father has stroke and is subsequently diagnosed with cancer. Giovanni moves with her son back to Cincinnati, to her parents’ home in Lincoln Heights. With primary responsibility for her parents and her son, including steep medical bills, she increases her speaking schedule and has less time to devote to writing. Named an Honorary Commissioner for the President’s Commission on the International Year of the Child. Father dies on 8 June 1982, one day after her thirty-ninth birthday.
  • 1983-87 Publishes Those Who Ride the Night Winds (1983). Continues a heavy schedule of speaking engagements. Named Woman of the Year by the Cincinnati YWCA (1983). Teaches as a Visiting Professor at Ohio State University (1984-85) and as Professor of Creative Writing at Mount Saint Joseph’s College (1985-87). Receives honorary doctorates from Mount Saint Joseph’s College (1985) and Mount Saint Mary College (1987). Makes a European lecture tour for U.S.I.A., visiting France, Germany, Poland, and Italy (1985). Is named to the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame (1985). Named Outstanding Woman of Tennessee (1985). Receives the Cincinnati Post’s Post-Corbett Award and serves as Duncanson Artist in Residence at the Taft Museum in Cincinnati (1986). Is subject of a PBS documentary, Spirit to Spirit (1987). Son Thomas graduates from high school and enlists in the Army. Accepts position as Commonwealth Visiting Professor of English at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Virginia. Mother moves to California to live with oldest daughter, Gary. Serves on the Ohio Humanities Council. Judges the Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards.
  • 1988 Publishes Sacred Cows . . . And Other Edibles. Receives honorary doctorate from Fisk University. Cincinnati Bi-Centennial Honoree. Spirit to Spirit receives the Silver Apple Award from the Oakland Museum Film festival. Receives the Ohioana Library Award for Sacred Cows. McDonald’s institutes the Nikki Giovanni Poetry Award. U.S.I.A. selects Spin A Soft Black Song for inclusion in its Exhibition to the Soviet Union. Vacation Time receives The Children’s Reading Roundtable of Chicago Award. National Festival of Black Storytelling initiates the Nikki Giovanni Award for Young African American Storytellers. Begins a writing group at Warm Hearth Village, a retirement home.
  • 1989-91 Accepts permanent position as tenured Full Professor of English at Virginia Tech. Relocates to Blacksburg, Virginia. Edits an anthology by her Warm Hearth writers group, Appalachian Elders: A Warm Hearth Sampler. Receives honorary doctorate from Indiana University. Attends Utrecht International Poetry Festival as the featured poet. "Two Friends" is incorporated as a permanent tile wall exhibit by the Oxnard Public Library in California. Son Thomas enrolls in Morehouse College. Continues to lecture on campuses across the country during the spring. Serves on the Advisory Board of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy (1990-96),
  • 1992-94 Publishes twentieth-anniversary edition of Ego Tripping and Other Poems for Young Readers (1993), which includes new poems. Publishes Racism 101 (essays) and Knoxville, Tennessee (illustrated children’s book). Edits and publishes Grand Mothers: A Multicultural Anthology of Poems, Reminiscences, and Short Stories About the Keepers of Our Traditions. Receives honorary doctorates from Otterbein College (1992), Rockhurst College (1993), and Widener University (1993). Featured Poet at Portland (Oregon) Art Beat Festival. Receives Community Volunteer of the Year Award from Warm Hearth Village. Writes and presents poem commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Mount Vernon Slave Memorial ("But Since You Finally Asked"). Conducts interview with astronaut Mae Jemison for Essence magazine. Is Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor at the University of Oregon (1992). Is the Hill Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota (1993). Continues to receive keys to the major cities in America; to this date, these include Dallas, Miami, New York, New Orleans, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Mobile, and a dozen or so more. Receives the Tennessee Writer’s Award from The Nashville Banner. Son Thomas graduates magna cum laude from Morehouse College (1994). Mother and sister relocate to Virginia (1994).
  • 1995 In mid-January is diagnosed with lung cancer. Travels to Cincinnati, Ohio, for second opinion and has surgery at Jewish Hospital. Receives honorary doctorates from Albright College and Cabrini College. Is a week-long writer-in-residence for the National Book Foundation’s Family Literacy Program at the Family Academy in Harlem. In summer is Visiting Professor at Indiana University/Kokomo.
  • 1996-97 Publishes Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni, The Genie in the Jar (illustrated children’s book), The Sun Is So Quiet (illustrated children’s book), Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy Like My Sister Kate: Looking at the Harlem Renaissance Through Poems (all 1996), and Love Poems (1997). Releases Nikki in Philadelphia (1997). Receives honorary doctorate from Allegheny College (1997). Reads for "A Celebration of Lorraine Hansberry," a benefit sponsored by The Schomburg Library. Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni nominated for NAACP Image Award. Reads for Literacy Partners Benefit Reading at Lincoln Center. Receives the Langston Hughes Award. Is Artist-in-Residence for The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts. Travels on book tour. Continues to do a spring lecture tour. Named Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies at Virginia Tech (1997-99). Serves on National Advisory Board of The National Underground Museum and Freedom Center (1997- ).
  • 1998-99 Publishes Blues: For All the Changes (1999) and edits and publishes Grand Fathers: Reminiscences, Poems, Recipes, and Photos of the Keepers of Our Tradition (1999). Receives honorary doctorates from Delaware State University (1998), Martin University and Wilmington University (1999). Named University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, the highest honor the University confers (1999). Wins NAACP Image Award for Love Poems (1998). Attends Millennium Evening at the White House. Inducted into the National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. Receives Appalachian Medallion Award. Wins the 1998 Tennessee Governor’s Award in the Arts.
  • 2000-01 Receives NAACP Image Award for Blues: For All the Changes (2000). Wins the 2000 Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts. Receives honorary doctorates from Manhattanville College, State University of West Georgia (2000) and Central State University (2001). Named to The Gihon Foundation’s 2000 Council of Ideas. Serves as poetry judge for the National Book Awards (2000). Receives Certificate of Commendation from the United States Senate (2000). Serves on the Board of Trustees of Cabrini College (2001-03). Serves on the Board of Directors of Mill Mountain Theater (of Roanoke, Virginia) (2001- ).
  • 2002-03 Publishes Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems (2002). Caedmon records and releases The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection (2002). Receives honorary doctorates from Pace University (2002) and West Virginia University (2003). Featured in Foundations of Courage . . . A Cry to Freedom! featured on BET. Appears in A&E television’s Witness: James Baldwin. Wins NAACP Image Award for Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea (2003). Judge for The Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards (2002). Serves on Multimedia Advisory Panel for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2002- ). Receives the first Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award (2002). Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Delta of Tennessee Chapter, Fisk University (2003). Performs a tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks with Elizabeth Alexander, Ruby Dee, and Yusef Komunyakaa (2003). Contributes to a Smithsonian special exhibition, In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 2003-04 The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection Collection is a finalist for a Grammy Award in the category of Spoken Word. Biologist Robert Baker names a new species of bat, Micronycteris giovanniae, in her honor. Named a Woman of Strength and Courage by American Legacy. Wins the Atlanta Daily World's Atlanta Choice Award. Receives the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame Award for Poetry. Subject of a documentary produced by The History Makers.
  • 2004-05 Is Poet-in-Residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace. Tours with new children's illustrated book, Rosa (illustrated by Bryan Collier). Giovanni completes a new book of adult poetry, Acolytes, and On My Journey Now, a book about the Negro Spiritual. Travels to Galway, Ireland, where she reads with Seamus Heaney at the Cúirt International Festival of Literature. Featured in photographer Mark Seliger's exhibit and book, In My Stairwell. John Henry "Pop" Lloyd Humanitarian Award. Named a "Legend" by The Oprah Magazine. Receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from ALC. In 2005, Mother dies 24 June; sister dies 10 August.
  • 2005-2006 Joins five regional gospel choirs at James Madison University on 27 February for a concert commemorating the 35th anniversary of Truth Is On Its Way. Winner of the HUES Leadership Network for Women of Color Award from the University of Virginia's Women's Center. Receives the National Council of Negro Women Appreciation Award. Rosa is named Child Magazine's Best Children's Book of the Year. Rosa receives Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award. Rosa reaches #3 on The New York Times bestseller list. Rosa is named a Caldecott Honor Book and receives the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration.
  • 2006-2007 Recognized as Virginia Tech Scholar of the Week, June 20, 2006. Named 2006 Virginia Press Woman Newsmaker of the Year. Rosa is selected as the Book of the Month for Read on Wisconsin. Publishes Acolytes: Poems and one month later, On My Journey Now: Looking at African-American History through the Spirituals. Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Florida A&M University. Delivers the closing remarks for the Convocation following the April 16 tragedy at Virginia Tech. Reads her now famous poem "We Are Virginia Tech" to a shaken audience made up of the university community, President George W. Bush and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.
  • 2007-2008 Honored at the Althea Gibson 50th Anniversary celebration by the US Tennis Association. On My Journey Now recognized as a "Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2008" by National Council for The Social Studies (NCSS) and The Children's Book Council. Legends and Legacies Award for Poetry from the African American Literary Awards. Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library. Women of Power Legacy Award from Black Enterprise. Acolytes wins an NAACP Image Award. Publishes children's book The Grasshopper's Song: An Aesop's Fable Revisted illustrated by Chris Raschka.
  • 2008-2009 Publishes Lincoln and Douglas: An American Friendship with illustrator—Bryan Collier. Edits Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat, which wins an NAACP Image Award. Recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Dillard University. Wins Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Dedication and Commitment