Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Memories that are classic
on December 12, 2005
The first time I heard this album, and the previous Like A Ripple on a Pond, I was a freshman at Ohio State University, away from home and on my own for the first time in my life, and living around more white folks than I could imagine inhabited the planet. As only one of less than 1500 minority students of all races at a university that had over 40,000 students on its main campus, I felt as powerless and as insignificant as a gnat facing down a 100 watt light bulb. But then the word came down that Nikki Giovanni would be performing her poetry at the student union. I got to hear the sister speak live the words that I had repeated over and over as I listened to the albums on my record player. It was so good to be in a room full of folks like me who could speak every word of the poetry we had memorized as we played the albums over and over, time and again. The sister was church, a soulful experience. The gospel of Bernard Diggs and the New York Community Choir, the power of Sister Nikk's poetry made my small, cramped dorm space bearable. Nikki Giovanni, along with Dick Gregory, made the experience of being a speck of color in a sea of white bearable. Her poetry renewed my strength, gave me courage, and made me want to get past all the hurts and insults too often black students on all white campuses had to endure in those early days when we were the first vanguard of blacks that walked through the doors the civil rights movement had opened just a crack. And now years later I am a professor of English. I use the sister's peotry as often as I can, both Truth is on Its Way and Like a Ripple on a Pond. They are my most vibrant teaching tools as examples of free verse, imagery, rhyme and meter. I am happy to say that it is my younger white students who are the most swept up in the spirit after hearing How I Got Over or a Ripple on a Pond for the first time. I get the same reply, "Don't turn that off. I want to hear the whole CD." I am glad I can tell them where they can get it. Lord knows, a sister is tired of making copies.