An allusion is a reference to a well-known person, event, or place from history, music, art, pop culture or another literary work.
Nikki Giovanni uses many allusions in her poem “Ego Tripping” to compare herself to historical, geographical, and ancestral references to celebrate herself.
In the first stanza, Giovanni refers to the Congo, the fertile crescent, the sphinx, and the pyramids. In the second stanza, she refers to Allah and the ice age. In the third stanza, she refers to Nefertiti and in the fourth, she writes about a forest, a desert, an a gazelle. She continues on to compare herself to Hannibal, Noah, Jesus. Interestingly enough, Giovanni always capitalizes references to herself but she does not capitalize many other proper nouns. She does this to add emphasis to herself and to remove it from others. Ego tripping, indeed!