Albany -- An outspoken civil rights activist and world-renowned poet and essayist talked to Albany students Thursday about her work and influence in the African American community.
Nikki Giovanni spoke to the group at Monroe High School Thursday. She's in town for a lecture series at Albany State University.
Giovanni said it's important for young people to stay focused during high school, but higher education is what they should strive for.
"The general thought is oh isn't it wonderful sweet 16 and all that, but it's not. High school is just a path to college. College is wonderful. High school is nothing it should probably be eliminated because for what you actually learn between the eigth grade and 12th grade is so miniscule, you could probably pick it up at the college level, get a little more serious work out of you," said Nikki Giovanni.
Giovanni is currently an English professor at Virginia Tech. She's a Grammy award nominee. She's won several NAACP awards and her books have been on the New York Times Bestsellers list.