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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Remember Dr. Maya Angelou and Her Voice in Poetry.



I remember being in the 5th grade and being exposed to the greatness that is a Maya Angelou poem. I read these words and instantly my shoulders stood straight, my neck was held high, and I felt important, I felt powerful, I felt instantaneously blessed to be in my skin, my black skin! She taught us the beauty and the richness of our culture and was the first to utter the words "My Black is Beautiful," and boy did she make us believe it! With poems like Phenomenal Women and Still I Rise, every line gave you a reason to feel like you were a Queen, a gifted, black, beautiful, intelligent, QUEEN!

Today, Dr. Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4th, 1928, finished the last punctuation mark on a life that was written with flair, dynamics, purpose, and faith. Even though she is no longer with us, I challenged each and every one of my readers to read one of my favorite Maya Angelou poems and feel what I felt all those years ago! Thank you for sharing your gift, thank you for sharing your voice through poetry, and thank you for making little brown girls everywhere feel like we were enough, phenomenally amazing creations from God above. Still I Rise! 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. 
Maya Angelou

                                       

R.I.P Dr. Maya Angelou 

                  4/4/28- 5/28/14

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