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
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
This poem provides inspiration, hope and direction to all who read it. When you look at the words, at the start of the poem, you see that this woman recognizes that people around her may say things about her that are not true. None of that will stop her. The lies, misinformation and hurt that is tossed her way, will not hold her down, she will rise. Look at your day. Are your co-workers vindictive and jealous. Do you have family members that spread false rumors about you. Let all that happen. None of those things can stop your rise.
When life is hard and you are struggling, do not let that define you. Instead hold your head up high, smile and behave as though the riches you seek and what you desire already exists and that you are on your way to pick them up. In order to succeed and reach your goals, you have to learn to believe that no matter how far down you are, no matter what obstacles you face, you can rise. Enjoy your beauty, your intelligence and your hard work. Those are things that are gifts from above. They are things to treasure and celebrate. When those around you try to oppress you, hurt you and deny you your place, remember your great qualities. Know in your heart and in your head that you will rise.
It is important to stand strong and know that the abilities and possibilities that are real for you, that are at hand, were once just dreams to those before you. The life you live, this life, the very one those around you try to downplay, downgrade and dismiss is a dream held by those not many generations ago. So, in all you do, look above, give thanks and know that you shall rise.`