The Lecture: Nikki Giovanni: April 23, 2024

The Cheuse Center presents

The Busboys and Poets Second Annual Lecture


Jimmy and Me

...and our interconnected future as Americans


by Nikki Giovanni


The Stacy C Sherwood Community Center, Fairfax VA

April 23rd 2024 at 6:30pm 


In partnership with:

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), City of Fairfax, Fairfax County Public Library, Dept. of African and African American Studies at GMU


For the second Cheuse Center's Busboys and Poets Lecture, we present Nikki Giovanni, whose friendship with James Baldwin formed the cornerstone of deeply personal public conversations. In this centennial year of James Baldwin’s birth, Baldwin’s friend, the award-winning writer and public intellectual, Nikki Giovanni, will reflect on her friendship with Baldwin, and why Baldwin matters. By touching on James Baldwin’s journey inside and outside America, Giovanni will discuss his legacy, include themes of belonging and exile, friendship, sexuality, community and interconnected idealism: black and white collaborators and their impact on internationalism and justice. How James Baldwin belongs to us all in profound interconnection. 

In 1971 James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni taped a two-hour “dialogue” for a public TV show called Soul! At forty-seven years old, Baldwin was a legend for 'The Fire Next Time' and countless other essays, novels, and criticism. Giovanni, then twenty-eight, was a luminary of the Black Arts Movement as the author of the 1968 poetry collection 'Black Feeling, Black Talk.' Their conversation was subsequently published in book form as 'A Dialogue.'

For more on Nikki Giovanni:

The Busboys and Poets Lecture is an annual lecture of ideas brought to you in collaboration with the founder of Busboys and Poets, Andy Shallal. 

Read more about our inaugural lecture here