Nikki Giovanni, born in 1943, is an African-American poet who first gained prominence during the 1960's, a decade in which African-Americans struggled to gain civil rights and also explored their own cultural identity.
In her poem titled "Dreams," Giovanni begins by describing her youthful dreams.
She wanted to be a "raelet." The Raelets were a group of female singers who backed up the great African-American vocalist and keyboard artist, Ray Charles. More specifically, she wanted to be Marjorie Hendricks, a key member of the Raelets.
Later, her dreams change:
then as i grew and maturedi became more sensibleand decided i wouldsettle downand just becomea sweet inspiration