M. Angelou’s Poem Still I Rise: Thoughts of a Black Woman Regarding the Society She Lives In
The poem I selected was Still I Rise written by Maya Angelou in the 1970’s. Angelou shares her thoughts and responses on how she feels as a Black woman is seen by society. She encompasses the feelings of not being able to be anything but Black. Society constricts her to those two labels, stripping all humanity from her. She asks her audience questions like “Does my haughtiness offend you?” and “Do you want to see me broken?” pointing out the contradiction in her oppressor’s beliefs. She states in the poem that she is extremely resilient, not allowing any negativity, especially microaggressions affect her.
I believe this poem qualifies as a piece of “literature of resistance” because it resists the urge to conform to society’s stereotypes and assumptions about the Black woman, where she cannot be delicate but she cannot be wild. It resists the abilities of others to label her and restrict her worth, causing “Black” and “woman” to be just two meaningless words. I know it is resisting it because not only am I living that experience myself and watching others live it more extensively, I see in her language with powerful phrases like: “
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.” -Maya Angelou
“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.”
“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?”
Angelou cleverly uses those phrases to refers to the robbing of the goods and treasures of her homeland into things she and others have repossessed in different forms throughout the years, like happiness and hope. Angelou is truly inspirational with her successful attempt at resisting the social “norms” and “expectations” of Black women throughout society. She encourages others with her words leaving them with the message that still, they rise.
Introduction In Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring, Alexander Rose tells the story of the spy ring that helped America win the Revolutionary War. Rose takes us […]
The meta-fiction novel ‘Spies’ was set in the 1940’s and written in 2002 by the author Michael Frayn. It revolves around the events and behaviours in relation to World War […]
The narrative film ‘Spies of Mississippi,’ may be a terrible update of the profundities that Mississippi specialists plumbed in their endeavors to sabotage the civil rights movement. The film chronicles, […]
Michael Frayn wrote the novel ‘Spies’ to present a partly-autobiographical novel in 2002. Frayn grew up in Ewell, Surrey, during World War 2. He had a precious and happy early […]
Hundreds of women posed as spies for the Civil War, on both the Confederate and Union sides. These women are arguably some of the bravest people in American history, who […]
The spies of the American Revolution turned the tides of the American Revolution to favor the Patriots. In order to win this war they would have composed mystery messages with […]
In Emily St John Mandel’s 2014 science fiction, dystopian novel Station Eleven, a majority of the world is deceased due to the Georgia-flu pandemic spread unknowingly by a passenger on […]
Station Eleven connects to concepts of Social Justice such as gender equality, human rights and world religion. Examples of the connection between Station Eleven and gender equality can be seen […]
“Survival is Insufficient” Upon first consideration, I, an incoming freshman from Memphis, Tennessee, have nothing in common with Kirsten Raymonde, the protagonist of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. Kirsten […]
The poem I selected was Still I Rise written by Maya Angelou in the 1970’s. Angelou shares her thoughts and responses on how she feels as a Black woman is […]