Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise, accurately captures how I feel after the egregious disrespect accorded to a few Kenyan women who have been stripped naked in broad daylight, without a soul to defend them, in the MIDDLE of the CITY center. These shameful acts scream that the level of respect give to our daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers is of the lowest level since women were given a voice. Takes us back before the middle ages when women were seen as trophies and commodities and not HUMAN BEINGS. Shame on those men who stood by and watched, I only wish that one day they will realize the gravity of what they have done and hope by then that they will be afforded the same level of respect that those women endured.
This poem is dedicated to these young women who have suffered in the hands of repulsive and bad excuses of men:
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread 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 back yard.
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.