Maya and Me

by

The great Maya Angelou died earlier this week at the age of 86. In 1978 she wrote a wonderful poem titled Still I Rise that beautifully narrated the African-American experience.

Shortly before my trial in 2005 and while in solitary confinement I wrote a response poem titled We Shall Rise drawing a parallel between the African-American and Palestinian struggles.

At the time I was gratified to know that my late attorney Bill Moffit gave Dr. Angelou a copy of the poem which she appreciated very much.

Here it is given below for anyone who appreciates poetry. May the souls of Dr. Angelou and Bill rest in peace.

May God have mercy on them and all of us.

 

WE SHALL RISE
by Sami Al-Arian


To Maya Angelou

Like the dream of the slave
You rise
And with the scream of the brave
I shall rise

In honoring the memory of your ancestors
You rise
With my stateless brothers and sisters
I shall rise

Like dust in the sunlight
You rise
And as ashes in a fiery night
I shall rise

You offend
Because of your existence
And I
For my resistance

You upset them
Recalling their past
And I
By holding steadfast

They may trod you in dirt
May cause me all the hurt
Inflict upon you excruciating pain
While they shut me up and detain
But they won’t see you broken
Neither would my faith be forsaken

As you’ve never bowed your head
And never lowered your eyes
I’ll continue to raise my fist
And hide my mother’s cries

They may shoot you with their words
Cut me up with their swords
They may insult you with their eyes
Denigrate me with their lies
Trying to kill you with their hate
Bury me alive to seal my fate

But they’d certainly
Be shamed and fail
As the free chant and sing
On their march to prevail

So keep your head held high
As I follow you and try
And keep your beautiful smile
As I walk my first mile

They’ll pressure and blame
Throw us in prison to control and tame
They’ll exile and defame
Lynch us all or shoot and maim
Burn crosses with no shame
Target our children in a dirty game

By why is that a surprise?
Despite their evil and terror
Their falsehood and lies
You shall rise
And I shall rise

You’re the black ocean
Leaping and wide
I’m the Mediterranean
With a stormy tide
Staying together
Side by side

It’s no surprise
We shall rise
Surely shall rise
We together shall rise

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 29, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey
Joshua Frank
The Wheels Fell Off the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon
Conn Hallinan
Ukraine: Close to the Edge
Stephen Lendman
What Happened to Ralkina Jones? Another Jail Cell Death
Rob Wallace
Neoliberal Ebola: the Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak
Dmitry Rodionov
The ‘Ichkerization’ Crime Wave in Ukraine
Joyce Nelson
Scott Walker & Stephen Harper: a New Bromance
Bill Blunden
The Red Herring of Digital Backdoors and Key Escrow Encryption
Thomas Mountain
The Sheepdog Politics of Barack Obama
Farzana Versey
A President and a Yogi: Abdul Kalam’s Symbolism
Norman Pollack
America’s Decline: Internal Structural-Cultural Subversion
Foday Darboe
How Obama Failed Africa
Cesar Chelala
Russia’s Insidious Epidemic
Tom H. Hastings
Defending Democracy
David Macaray
Why Union Contracts are Good for the Country
Virginia Arthur
The High and Dry Sierras
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, the Season Finale, Mekonception in Redhook
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative