(At top, the video features Maya Angelou reading “Still I Rise).

I just wanted to share that while writing my most recent post, my mind lurched to a stop for a few seconds to process this paragraph fully (emphasis mine):

As the State Department reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had called President-elect Barack Obama twice to brief him on the attacks, American intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Friday there was mounting evidence pointing to the involvement of Lashkar, or possibly another Pakistani group focused on Kashmir, Jaish-e-Muhammad.

So — dig: a black Secretary of State is briefing a black President (elect) on world affairs. Dayam – now that’s Black Power in action. We sang “A Change Is Gonna Come” for so long and now here it is…coming to pass. It made me think of Maya Angelou’s famous poem: Still I Rise. The poem is about the example of the determination of African-Americans throughout our history to triumph despite the odds. As Angelou indicates in the video, “Still I Rise has resonance far beyond the African-American experience and speaks on the universal human level. May these words bring hope & strength to all Americans and all those around the world in these dark, troubled times. And for black folk, let us now appreciate soberly this expanded opportunity to bring to the world the gifts our ancestors gave.

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 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.

[...]

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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