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 backyard.
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.
— Maya Angelou, Excerpt —
This past Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in my side of the world, an annual holiday honoring the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. King was a non-violent activist against racial discrimination until his assassination in 1968.
Initially, for this week’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday, I was going to share an excerpt from King’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream”. As I searched for an excerpt on Google, I thought about the legacy he left behind and the influence he’s made on other writers and activists after his death. This led me to Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise”, which in my opinion, embodies the strength of humanity and the courage to dream of a better world.