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Million Man March Poem - Poem by Maya Angelou

The night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.

Under a dead blue sky on a distant beach,
I was dragged by my braids just beyond your reach.
Your hands were tied, your mouth was bound,
You couldn't even call out my name.
You were helpless and so was I,
But unfortunately throughout history
You've worn a badge of shame.

I say, the night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark
And the walls have been steep.

But today, voices of old spirit sound
Speak to us in words profound,
Across the years, across the centuries,
Across the oceans, and across the seas.
They say, draw near to one another,
Save your race.
You have been paid for in a distant place,
The old ones remind us that slavery's chains
Have paid for our freedom again and again.

The night has been long,
The pit has been deep,
The night has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.

The hells we have lived through and live through still,
Have sharpened our senses and toughened our will.
The night has been long.
This morning I look through your anguish
Right down to your soul.
I know that with each other we can make ourselves whole.
I look through the posture and past your disguise,
And see your love for family in your big brown eyes.

I say, clap hands and let's come together in this meeting ground,
I say, clap hands and let's deal with each other with love,
I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference,
Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts,
Let us come together and revise our spirits,
Let us come together and cleanse our souls,
Clap hands, let's leave the preening
And stop impostering our own history.
Clap hands, call the spirits back from the ledge,
Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation,
Courtesy into our bedrooms,
Gentleness into our kitchen,
Care into our nursery.

The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain
We are a going-on people who will rise again.

And still we rise.


Comments about Million Man March Poem by Maya Angelou

  • Silver Star - 3,089 Points Shah Surja (11/26/2015 1:56:00 PM)

    The ancestors remind us, despite the
    history of pain
    We are a going-on people who will
    rise again.
    And still we rise. (Report) Reply

    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 4,832 Points Curtis Johnson (11/9/2015 3:13:00 AM)

    May Maya's words continue to speak of legacy's child who must pass on, but whose messages never die. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 67,112 Points Susan Williams (10/16/2015 7:01:00 PM)

    she is a well-loved and respected voice in literature, a strong voice, a compassionate voice, a thoughtful voice... we have all been blessed by her life and poetry (Report) Reply

Read all 22 comments »

Poems About Poem

  1. 1. Million Man March Poem , Maya Angelou
  2. 2. An Almost Made Up Poem , Charles Bukowski
  3. 3. A Silly Poem , Spike Milligan
  4. 4. The Saddest Poem , Pablo Neruda
  5. 5. Saddest Poem , Pablo Neruda
  6. 6. A Birthday Poem , Ted Kooser
  7. 7. I Am Offering This Poem , Jimmy Santiago Baca
  8. 8. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  9. 9. A Poem For Myself , Etheridge Knight
  10. 10. Kinetic Poem No.2 , Roger McGough
  11. 11. Poem In Praise Of Menstruation , Lucille Clifton
  12. 12. Poem , Simon Armitage
  13. 13. Love Poem , Kathleen Jessie Raine
  14. 14. Love Poem , Richard Brautigan
  15. 15. Poem For A Poem , Naseer Ahmed Nasir
  16. 16. Rhyming Poem , Charles Bukowski
  17. 17. Night Poem , Margaret Atwood
  18. 18. Poem In October , Dylan Thomas
  19. 19. To Make A Dadist Poem , Tristan Tzara
  20. 20. Poem On His Birthday , Dylan Thomas
  21. 21. Poem 1 , Edmund Spenser
  22. 22. The Poem You Asked For , Larry Levis
  23. 23. Poem (As The Cat) , William Carlos Williams
  24. 24. God, A Poem , James Fenton
  25. 25. Poem , Elizabeth Bishop
  26. 26. A Dramatic Poem , William Butler Yeats
  27. 27. In A Poem , Robert Frost
  28. 28. Other Lives And Dimensions And Finally A.. , Bob Hicok
  29. 29. Poem For My 43rd Birthday , Charles Bukowski
  30. 30. Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing , William Stafford
  31. 31. Poem For Maya , Carolyn Forché
  32. 32. A Quiet Poem , Frank O'Hara
  33. 33. Willow Poem , William Carlos Williams
  34. 34. The Lost Baby Poem , Lucille Clifton
  35. 35. Poem Of Night , Galway Kinnell
  36. 36. Love Poem , Louise Gluck
  37. 37. - ≪Short Poem≫ A Simple Secret &.. , Ronberge (anno primo)
  38. 38. Poem Written At Morning , Wallace Stevens
  39. 39. A Descriptive Poem On The Silvery Tay , William Topaz McGonagall
  40. 40. Poem , Donald Justice
  41. 41. Heroic Poem In Praise Of Wine , Hilaire Belloc
  42. 42. Michael: A Pastoral Poem , William Wordsworth
  43. 43. A Poem For The End Of The Century , Czeslaw Milosz
  44. 44. Poem 24 , Edmund Spenser
  45. 45. Poem (Lana Turner Has Collapsed!) , Frank O'Hara
  46. 46. The Next Poem , Dana Gioia
  47. 47. Poem (Hate Is Only One Of Many Responses) , Frank O'Hara
  48. 48. Beauty: [notes For An Unfinished Poem] , Wilfred Owen
  49. 49. A Poem For You... , Ravi Sathasivam
  50. 50. Endless Poem , Yehuda Amichai
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