Saturday, 9 February 2013

African-American History Month (A female writer’s perspective)

We are in February which is African-American history month. To commemorate this special month I am featuring a list of African-American female writers who have influenced my life. I’d love to gather these women up in the same room and take a picture.

1. Pearl Cleage writes books that I can’t and don’t want to put down. Some Things I Never Thought I’d Do is one of my favorite books of all time.

2. Terry McMillan's books get turned into movies for a reason, they are fabulous.

3. Iyanla VanZant is a beacon God’s light and love.

4. Toni Morrison- I have read Song of Solomon three times and I long to read it again

5. Alice Walker- The Color Purple- amazing book and movie

6. Toni Cade Bambara- I fell in love with her short story Raymond’s Run in high school. It was such an inspirational story that it stuck with me

7. Maya Angelou's writing is exquisite I will leave you with one of her poems which I first read in high school. I have also heard her read it (on TV) and I can still hear her raspy voice as the powerful words float through the air.

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 back yard.

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.
Maya Angelou

Do you have any African-American writers whose writing has influenced or touched you?


  1. Awesome poetry. I have only read Toni Morrison.

  2. Maya Angelou is an excellent poet.


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