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I speak as an Activist

Ella Baker, Civil Rights and Human Rights Activist

“Until the killing of black men, black mothers' sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother's son, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”

I speak as a Woman

Lucy Stone, May 12, 1869, a prominent U.S. orator, abolitionist, suffragist, a vocal advocate and organizer promoting rights for women "I believe that the influence of woman will save the country before every other power."

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I speak as a Believer

Matthew 6:34, Disciple of Christ

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I speak as a Wife

Sylvia Garner, Evolution of Self Specialist

"Being a wife is one of the toughest jobs that I’ve ever had because I’ve learned that we are not always going to be on the same page, but thank God we’re in the same chapter."

I speak as a Daughter

Fannie Lou Hamer, Black Freedom Movement of the 60s "Never to forget where we came from and always praise the bridges that carried us over."

Maya Angelou

Author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist 

Still I Rise

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.

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I speak as a Mother of Black Sons

Shaka Zulu, leader of the Zulu Kingdom from 1816 to 1828 “I need no bodyguard at all, for even the bravest men who approach me get weak at the knees and their hearts turn to water, whilst their heads become giddy and incapable of thinking as the sweat of fear paralyze them.”

I speak as an Entrepreneur

Madame C. J. Walker, entrepreneur, philanthropist, political and social activist “I am not ashamed of my past.”

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