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What does it mean to confess the Resurrection?

What does it mean to be a community that boldly proclaims, “Alleluia, Christ is Risen?”

What are the consequences of confessing “the resurrection of the Body?”

What does looking for “the resurrection of the dead” look like?

 

Maya Angelou, one of my literary heroes, wrote a poem that – whether she intended it or not – gets at the answer to each of these questions.

 

Maya endured sexual abuse as a little girl and suffered the “thousand natural shocks” that Black flesh is heir to in this land. Upon hearing that her uncle killed the man who assaulted her, Maya didn’t talk for 5 years. She didn’t talk for five years.

 

Dr. Angelou’s poem “Still I rise” continues to teach me what it looks like to live out the truth and power of the Resurrection. Read the poem for yourself. Or better yet, take time to hear and see blessed Maya speak it.

 

Why wait for death to come to experience the Resurrection? Christ is alive now beckoning, healing, and empowering us to Rise.

 

"Still I Rise"

by Maya Angelou

 

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 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 backyard.

 

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

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.