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. 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.
No matter what happens, where you are,
where you go, when you stumble, when you fall,
what people say, what people do, what people think,
what people feel, what life throws your way…
When the weight of the world is on your shoulders,
Always remember your purpose…
Always remember your worth…
Always remember who you are…
Always remember whose you are…
Get up, dust yourself off, and fly. Rise from the ashes like a phoenix.
Stand tall and be your most authentic self—
be better than your circumstance!
Live your life like Dr. Maya Angelou:
fearless and phenomenal…
(and don’t forget to help those along the way.)