Happy Birthday, Maya Angelou

January 13, 2024
1 min read

Still I Rise
By Maya Angelou
You may write me down in historyWith your bitter, twisted lies,You may trod me in the very dirtBut 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 wellsPumping 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 minesDiggin’ 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 surpriseThat I dance like I’ve got diamondsAt the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame   I riseUp from a past that’s rooted in pain   I riseI’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear   I riseInto a daybreak that’s wondrously clear   I riseBringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,I am the dream and the hope of the slave.   I rise  I rise  I rise.
© Maya Angelou
Born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, on April 4, 1928, Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of modern literature. She is a contemporary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and a host of other Black icons in America and Africa.
The first African American female director in Hollywood, Dr Angelou has also lived in Africa. As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights  activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world, spreading her legendary wisdom.  
Within the rhythm of her poetry and elegance of her prose lies Angelou’s unique power to help readers of every orientation span the lines of race and Angelou captivates audiences through the vigour and sheer beauty of her words and lyrics.
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