Still I Rise
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
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.
Still I Rise
By Maya Angelou
You're probably wondering
Who is she? What did she do?
She is Angel B Winfrey
An unwanted child. Raised in the number one murder capital of the country. As a youth she was a survivor of parental illness, pedophilia and youth violence. She grew up watching her mother struggle with mental illness. Between the ages of 8 and 12 she was a victim of grooming by a pedophile. At the age of 13 she was in a relationship with him where she was often physically, mentally and sexually abused. She was often harassed and bullied by her peers for being with an older man. She wished she could get out but she was too afraid. At the age of 14 she was violently assaulted by a teenage girl leaving her with lacerations to her face, head and body. Never receiving any help or therapy she fell into depression. By the age of 15 she was pregnant by her abuser and continued to suffer from the physical, mental and sexual abuse until the night she had to run for her life holding on to her unborn child. Hours later she went into preterm labor and delivered a baby girl born two months early.
"Giving birth to my daughter saved me. I never had the courage to leave him, I was too afraid but something miraculously happened when she arrived. I was no longer afraid of him but I was afraid for her. I knew I had to protect her and for the first time I had the courage to leave but in order to do so, God had to intervene and make a way out for me."
Having no choice, she dropped out of high school to support her child. She later enrolled in the Atlanta Job Corps program where she received child care while obtaining her GED and completing their Nursing Assistant program. By this time she had two children. Thinking this would set her on a path to some type of success she quickly realized changing bed pans wouldn't suffice. She later received a two thousand dollar scholarship and free child care from the Zell Miller Foundation and enrolled in a Medical Assistant/ Medical Coding and Billing program at Ultrasound Diagnostic School of Atlanta.
The opportunity couldn't have come at a better time.
At the age of 23 she was a mother of three, married and had become the first in her family to become a homeowner. Just when things were starting to look up for her, her husband was stricken by a chronic inflammatory health condition known as ulcerative colitis (UC) after one year into their marriage. For ten years she was on the battlefield with him fighting and believing for his healing while managing doctors, hospitals, medicine, procedures, parent teacher conferences, work, church, school, ministry while raising children and watching her husband suffer. Because she had to be strong for her family she suffered in silence. When she began to break down in public places she knew she needed help, but felt her family needed her more.
Finally after years of suffering her husband went into remission but two years later was diagnosed with colon cancer. During this season of her life she noticed she wasn't as strong as she had been before. She was having symptoms she'd experienced before but this time they were worse. Fears, anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic attacks were taking over her life to the point she didn't recognize herself anymore. She was having a nervous breakdown and didn't even know it. These symptoms were somewhat normal to her. What methods of coping she had no longer worked.
At the age of 35, she suffered a mental breakdown that eventually led her to separation and divorce. Starting over was very difficult for her. She just didn't know herself anymore.
She began to do the work and put her life back together piece by piece. She's now a proclaimed spiritual ophthalmologist helping women to see their God potential by irradiating false beliefs. "I'm not here to give you false hope. I'm here to give you TRUTH that'll set you free.