Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni's moving speech at today's service:

We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today and we will be sad for quite awhile. WE are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to know when to cry and sad enough to know we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did not deserve it but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, but neither do the invisible children walking the night to avoid being captured by a rogue army. Neither does the baby elephant watching his community be devastated for ivory; neither does the Appalachian infant in the killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech. The Hokie Nation embraces our own with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid. We are better than we think, not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness. We are the Hokies. We will prevail, we will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech. "

But by the end of the convocation -- after Virginia Tech English professor and poet Nikki Giovanni roused the gathering by declaring, "We are the Hokies! We will prevail!" -- students were on their feet chanting "Let's go Hokies!" to rhythmic applause.


Anonymous said...

It was terrible how she kind of implied that the students deserved what they got.

homeinkabul said...

Umm, where do you get that from? She says, "we know we did not deserve it..." 7th line.

Frida said...

It is a hell of a week - this terrible shooting, five UN killed in kandahar, a UXO exploded in Herat killing several children.

I'm off t the beach with Susannah of Ink on my Fingers to take a very very deep breath and recover my sense of laughter and joy. You?


homeinkabul said...

Yes Frida, thank you for reminding me. I am going to stop obsessively checking the news and take some deep breathes of my own. Enjoy the beach. I went last week and it was awesome!

Vince said...

It is too bad that Nikki Giovanni is trying to use this situation as a platform to promote her own political agenda. It is supposed to be about the victims, not Giovanni’s political ideology.

homeinkabul said...

Vince, I didn't get that from her speech. I thought it was powerful and moving.

What did she say that was political?