STILL I RISE…

Today I’ve got to give you a double dose of “STILL I RISE.” The first dose is by the gospel singer Yolanda Adams. This is one of those songs that I sing on a regular basis in the car. I play it so much until I’m surprised I haven’t burned this cd out. Once you listen to the song you’ll definitely know what I mean. This song is song inspirational and so well sung.
The second dose of “STILL I RISE” is by one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou. Her poem is just as inspirational as Yolanda Adam’s song. I hope you enjoy both. Make it a great day!!!

Still I Rise

By Maya Angelou
© 1978 by Maya Angelou.

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.

GOOD MORNING!

On January 20,1993 Maya Angelou was invited to deliver the Inaugural poem at Bill Clinton’s Inauguration.  Angelou was only the second person ever to deliver a poem at a Presidential Inauguration.  This is certainly one of my favorites.  I have listened, read, listened, and re-read this poem over and over again.

 

MAYA ANGELOU: PHENOMENAL WOMAN

Image result for maya angelou images

Today is February 1st 2016 and it marks the beginning of Black History Month.

As one of the most diverse countries on earth, America continues to celebrate the history of Black Americans during the month of February.  Despite our storied past, and great strides towards inclusion, there are still many barriers that separate us.  What initially started as a week in 1926, this celebration was officially recognized as a month-long event by the government in 1976.  Some consider Black History Month as an antiquated event yet they fail to realize that  this is a time not only for Black Americans but a time for all to celebrate the rich backgrounds of all.  Today, I’m honoring an individual who certainly embraced all during her time on this planet.  That individual is Maya Angelou who was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis MO and died on May 28, 2014 in Winston Salem NC.  Maya Angelou was definitely a

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou 1928–2014 Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

DR. MAYA ANGELOU DECEASED @ 86

maya
Dr. Maya Angelou, one of my favorite poets, died yesterday, apparently in her sleep. Her caretaker found her. She wsa86 years old. I received an email from Tyler Perry (I’m on his mailing list) and this is what he had to say:

Hey TJ,

There have only been a handful of people in my life who have moved me, inspired me, encouraged me, and helped mold the man I am today. One of those people would be Dr. Maya Angelou. She was a woman I called “friend”.

Her words and her spirit are too powerful to leave this earth with her passing. Her legacy and poems will take wings, forever landing at the foundation of anything that betters humanity. Dr. Maya Angelou will live on in all of us who called her a phenomenal woman, phenomenally.

She is loved and will be missed.

Tyler

Personally, one of my favorite poems by Dr. Angelou is her inaugural poem for Former resident Bill Clinton. Check it out below:
Inaugural Poem

Maya Angelou
20 January 1993

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers–desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot …
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours–your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, YOU DO BETTER…

Today is the 60th birthday of Oprah Winfrey, truly an icon. Just in case you don’t know who she is, you’ve apparently been living under a rock on Mars. When she turned 50, she had a big televised black-tie affair. According to sources, the billionaire (with an estimated net worth of $2.9 billion) will have a low-key 60th birthday at home in California on Wednesday.
For years, I have watched her administer her own brand of magic on this world. She is electrifying, poignant, inspirational, and funny all at the same time. She runs her own cable TV channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), in partnership with Discovery Communications Inc. She has been a mentor and a support system to many over the years including the likes of Tyra Banks and even President Obama. Though I have been inspired by Oprah over the years, I want you to hear her tell of how she was inspired and who it was that inspired her. HAPPY BIRTHDAY OPRAH!!!