When I was just a teen, many years ago now, I picked up my sister's copy of this amazing collection of poetry. I have the same copy to this day, pages well worn and the book cover dog-eared from use. At the time I first read this collection, I had only known more conventional poetry from my studies. Reading Nikki Giovanni's work made me realize what poetry could be--not just lofty highbrow sentiments about things of no interest to me--but that a poem could convey powerful, even abstract thoughts in a very unique and meaningful way. I learned of history, of struggle, of joy, of love...many things I hadn't yet experienced or wouldn't have the ability to experience. Yet Giovanni's work made these thoughts and experiences seem accessible to even a young girl of 16. As an adult, these poems have only increased in value and meaning to me. I highly recommend this to anyone but particularly those who may not think they like poetry.