Still I Rise

​Filming these music videos has been very liberating and a reminder to give myself permission to be creative and to shine. This Maya Angelou poem from "Still I Rise" comes to mind. Although written with civil rights issues in mind, the poem is universal in its appeal. Any innocent individual, any minority, any survivor of assault, abuse, or oppression can relate to the underlying theme. Don't give in to bullying, humiliation and injustice. Her defiance is brilliant. Her words continue to help me heal and give me courage to keep shining. 

"Estate" is an Italian song written in 1960 by Bruno Martino (music) and Bruno Brighetti (lyrics). A minor hit in Italy when released, it eventually became a worldwide jazz standard largely through its Bossa nova interpretation by João Gilberto.

The title refers to summer, and the lyrics describe a love lost during summer and the bitter memories that come with the season ever since. The song was originally titled (and the lyric repeatedly sings) "Odio l'estate" ("I Hate Summer").

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.

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.