Thursday, November 06, 2008

And Still I Rise.



I spoke the other day of how moved I was to read of the anticipation with which Maya Angelou and a group of black writers, poets and artistes awaited Obama's election.

It made me think of this poem by Angelou. She performs it here brilliantly. So I'm posting it to indulge myself over what has taken place.

Here she speaks after the event about how she feels to know that we will soon have President Obama.

I'm so proud and filled, I can hardly talk without weeping. I'm so filled with pride for my country. What do you say? We are growing up. My God, I'm so grateful.... I mean, look at our souls, look at our hearts. We have elected a black man to talk for us, to speak for us. We, blacks, whites, Asians, Spanish-speaking, Native Americans, we have done it. Fat, thin, pretty, plain, gay, straight, we have done it. My Lord, I am an American, baby.
One of the things which I found most moving yesterday was the reaction of people like Colin Powell and Jesse Jackson. The way grown men openly wept at something which they never dared believe they would see in their lifetimes. Even Condi Rice couldn't hide her delight.

Rarely have I ever found a political event so genuinely moving.

2 comments:

Will Conley said...

That chick rocks my socks. I had never seen Angelou perform before. She could compete with the young folks at poetry slam competitions and make them look silly. I love how laid-back she is, in contrast with the frenetic frantic hollering you see at most poetry events. Guess that's why she's Maya and I'm just me. Can't wait 'til I'm her age. Maybe I'll be cool too. Thanks for posting this.

Kel said...

To be honest Will I did think of you as I posted this because I remembered that you used to perform poetry live.

Her poetry is stunning but, unusually, that skill is matched by her performance skills.

She has a delicate touch which I find breathtaking. And, like you, she looks for what is good in people. Her poems celebrate what connects us rather than what divides us.