Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou: A Message Of Resiliency, Strength, & Black Beauty

1 Posted by - March 24, 2018 - LATEST POSTS

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou is one of her most famous poems, written in her third volume of poetry called And Still I Rise, published in 1978. The message is about the resiliency, strength, and beauty that black communities continue to show through hundreds of years of oppression and discrimination. In a time when racial tensions are at a high, Angelou’s poem is still just as relevant as it was in 1978, serving as a reminder to us all that through the collective pain and inequality, still we rise.

 

Still I Rise

 

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may tread 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

I rise.

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