“What a friend we have in Jesus” (& Nikki): A musing response to Nikki Giovanni’s “A Good Cry”

For today’s sermon, we borrow from the book of Nikki (Giovanni, that is).

The Fight and The Fiddle

Editor’s Note: While our usual editorial style uses poets’ last names on second reference, this essay intentionally breaks with that style as a nod to the intimacy the poet has cultivated with audiences and readers.

By Kendra N. Bryant, PhD

I turned myself into myself and was
jesus
men intone my loving name
All praises All praises
I am the one who would save
 —Nikki Giovanni, “Ego Tripping (There May Be a Reason Why)” 

Jesus wept. (John 11:35)

&I find Jesus and Nikki to be quite similar, maybe even one and the same. Admittedly, however, I don’t know either that well. But I think I know enuf about them to make such an assertion. See, I’m thinking if Jesus really is on Mars,[1] then Nikki’s fascination with space is really her fascination with herself, but not in an ego-tripping, self-centered fashion; more like a return to Self. Otherwise…

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It–whatever It is–can wait.

I am living with advanced heart failure. Yeah, yeah, yeah some of you are like "but I thought you were healing;" well, a test the other week shows regression. An additional and more extensive scan the week after next will refute or confirm. Whether advanced or (hopefully) not I live with heart failure. And my [...]

Dear Blackboy

Back in 2012, I wrote a Dear John letter to the brothers. My relationships with the Johns in my life were (and will always be I suppose) evolving, transitioning, ending. I'm a stubborn one, but my ideas and opinions evolve, transition, end too. So it is with the Dear John letter. I realized the change [...]

Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era

Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era is an edited collection of critical essays and poetry that investigates contemporary elegy within the black diaspora. Scores of contemporary writers have turned to elegiac poetry and prose in order to militate against the white supremacist logic that has led to recent deaths of unarmed black men, women, and children. This volume combines scholarly and creative understandings of the elegy in order to discern how mourning feeds our political awareness in this dystopian time as writers attempt to see, hear, and say something in relation to the bodies of the dead as well as to living readers.

Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era is HERE!

Good folks, give thanks--she is here! Follow her on Twitter @blmelegy and bookmark her website https://revisitingtheelegy.org/ to keep up with her travels now that she's entered the world! Please love up on her--order, share, review, invite her to your classroom, library, reading group, home, bookstore. She's so ready. xoxo

Belonging

I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t want to belong to something or somebody.  Not ownership belong to but be a part of belong to. Even me.  I say even me because I’m a natural, albeit ironic, loner.  Ironic because I’m a twin and we make two of five sisters.  Ironic still because there [...]