- Yet and Still I Rise
You may write us down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod us in the very dirt
But still, like dust, we’ll rise.
Does our sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause we walk like we’ve got oil wells
Pumping in our living rooms
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still we’ll rise.
Did you want to see us broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by our soulful cries?
Does our haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard?
‘Cause we laugh like we’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in our own backyards
You may shoot us with your words,
You may cut us with your eyes,
You may kill us with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, we’ll rise
Does our sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise?
That we dance like we’ve got diamonds
Nestled between our thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
We’re a multicolored ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling we ride in on the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that our ancestors gave,
Out of the hovel, the jail and the grave
We are the dreams and the hopes of the Republic,
We are the spirits of the patriots,
We are the voices long unheard,
We are the claims about to come due
We are the final word
We are finally one people and we will now be heard!
An adaptation by Larry Conley of Still I Rise by Maya Angelou to reflect the changed circumstances of the quest for an America Built to Last.
© 2012, Larry Conley. All rights reserved.