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?
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.
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.
Excerpts from the poem "And Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
The Black Pioneers of Wellington County, Ontario
Maya Angelou wrote the poem -And Still I Rise, that Nelson Mandela read at his inauguration in 1994, after a twenty-seven year imprisonment.
The message in Angelou’s poem is clear. No matter what the circumstances, there should always be hope to cling to.
It was that kind of faith and a belief in that philosophy to never give up hope, that ultimately allowed the Black pioneers of Wellington county to survive.
And that they did survive is the point of this new collection.
How they took on an unknown and unforgiving harsh climate to live in, one that most had never experienced, then went on to create a new and very good life for themselves within it from nothing, was the challenge that they successfully and courageously met.
Photo title: Cecil with Baby Ella, July 1st Dominion Day 1929
The Wellington County Historical Society