It’s been a week from hell.
After tragedies in Beirut, Paris, and Bamako; a US House of Representatives vote to vet Syrian refugees as if they were criminals; and protests in Minneapolis after the shooting of yet another unarmed black American, there seems little left to be hopeful about. But still, in the words of American poet Maya Angelou, we’ll rise.
On Nov. 18, US pop star Nicki Minaj recited Angelou’s iconic 1978 poem Still, I Rise in a stirring performance in Los Angeles for Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America. The words ring as the voice of a woman defending her strength, knowing her power, trusting her resilience.
Back in 1994, Nelson Mandela recited the same poem at his inauguration as president of South Africa. Today, it resonates as a universal message of defiance, pride and hope:
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.