Posted by: annabanana210 | January 11, 2011

Today I love the snow

Anyone that knows me well enough to say they know me, knows that I hate snow.

I was born on February 10, in a year long ago, a century before…in the midst of a terrible ice and snowstorm in St. Louis, Missouri.  My parents went to the hospital with the intention of attending a prenatal class. I also attended the class by breaking the water and getting my mother admitted.  Then I began to ponder being born and I decided to hold off for quite a few more hours.

Every year between my birth and 18 years of age, it snowed on my birthday.  I am very bitter.  Lots of calls to say no one is coming to my birthday party (maybe it’s just cause nobody liked me anyway!), and last year’s Snowpocalypse 2010 was by far the worst.

Nevertheless, I’ve had a change of heart and probably just for a few hours.  Nikki Giovanni drove up to DC today to present us with the “100 Greatest African-American Poems” book that she edited.  She spoke on every current topic in the news today, touching on the Arizona shootings, as well as Sarah Palin, Clarence Thomas, rap music and what she feels her legacy is to the younger generation.  She also spoke on how important family is, how much she loves her son (she “thinks he’s pretty okay”), and how hard it was to edit these selections (which is why there are actually 221 poems in the book, if you count the one ahead of the table of contents).

Ms. Giovanni was very gracious and giving of her time.  She was very engaged with everyone she spoke with and she smiled for each picture she took with all of us.  I waited in line and she signed my books for me.  She also took a picture with me.  I think it’s very important to note that not only is she an extraordinary person, she’s done something extraordinary; she made me love the snow again. It was so warm inside Busboys tonight, but that was from the energy that radiated from all of us taken in her words and knowledge.  I’m glad that I went!

As a young African-American woman, there aren’t many positive images out there for us to look to or admire.  Do you remember the first time you read or heard “Ego Trippin'”? It was as though someone finally put into words all the things you felt about yourself, but better.  I felt as though the best kept secret (black women) was let loose on the world, but the world was just going to have to deal with it.  I was very honored and humbled to meet this tremendous spirit in such a small package. 

I smiled just about the whole way home, in the snow.

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