Maya Angelou's life reflected the struggle African Americans have in America.  But . . . So We Rise!

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise


Standing is what we do.

This is a day of reflection, a day to analyze who we are as a people, where we are going and how we choose to get there. There are so many obstacles thrown in our pathway, but we have had 400 years of climbing over them. We have scarred our knees, bruised our bodies and challenged our minds, but we got over.

I think one of the most difficult things for some people to realize, is how we have the inner strength, determination and faith to get up stronger with each “knock-down.” As we look at the inhumane treatment people of color are going through in America today, we wonder if we have the strength to rise again. But we must continue to say again and again…”And Still I Rise” (Maya Angelou).

We are one of the most intelligent and resilient people, if we were not, we would have perished long ago. We stand on the backs of our slave ancestors, and still we rise. To all of our male and female counterparts who have died from systemic racism …and still we rise! To a country we labored more than others to help build, but are denied equality . . . still we rise! So brothers and sisters of color, we may be down today, and maybe, even tomorrow, but . . .still . . . we rise!