The Poem That Inspired Serena Williams To “Rise” Above
There’s so much negativity in our lives that drowns out all the positive, reassuring messages, whether it be on our social media feeds or our day-to-day lives. This Monday we wanted to share some inspiring positivity to help you kickstart your week on the right note. This is the story of Serena Williams, a name synonymous with excellence and strength today who faced her fair share of struggles when she walked out on the court for the first time. As an ode to her struggles, right before Williams’ 2016 win against Angelique Kerber marking here 22nd Grand Slam title and taking her WTA singles ranking to No. 1, the BBC posted a video montage that depicted what the 34-year-old ace player had to face during her career.
The video shows Williams reciting her favourite poem by the late American author and poet, Maya Angelou, titled “Still I Rise” during her 2015 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year acceptance speech. The speech, the video and the poem are as powerful and beautiful as it is inspiring and we wanted to share them with you.
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
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
You can watch the BBC video montage here.
We hope this inspires you to fight hard for your dreams and forge ahead one day at a time! If there’s one leaf we can all take from Serena Williams’ life, it is the will to succeed, not give up no matter what the odds are and push all boundaries.
Let this Monday mark the beginning of all things successful!