Facts about her life Birth name: Marguerite Johnson Born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri Raised in segregated rural Arkansas by her grandmother Became mute for 5 years due to a childhood tragedy. Became the first African American woman streetcar conductor in San Francisco at age 16. Worked on the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X
Served in the SCLC with Dr. King First black director and screenwriter in Hollywood Nominated for an Emmy Award for her acting in “Roots”, and her screenplay “Georgia” Wrote and delivered a poem at President Clinton’s 1993 presidential inauguration Received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama on February 15, 2011. Facts about her life
First book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, nominated for Pulitzer Prize Published twelve best-selling books Some books: Just Give Me A Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Phenomenal Women, And Still I Rise… Literary Works
And Still I Rise Written in 1996 Series of powerful and distinctive poems, full of lifting rhythms of love and remembering…
“Still I Rise” You may write me down in historyWith your bitter, twisted lies,You may trod me in the very dirtBut 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 wellsPumping 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 minesDiggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, Cont…
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 surpriseThat I dance like I've got diamondsAt the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shameI riseUp from a past that's rooted in painI riseI'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.Leaving behind nights of terror and fearI riseInto a daybreak that's wondrously clearI riseBringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,I am the dream and the hope of the slave.I riseI riseI rise.
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