Maya on Monday #3: Africa

angelouTo read more about this series, check out the first post in the series.

Today we’re sharing Maya Angelou’s Africa, which was originally published in her book Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well in 1975.  Enjoy.


Thus she had lain
sugarcane sweet
deserts her hair
golder her feet
mountains her breasts
two Niles her tears.
Thus she has lain
Black through the years.

Over the white seas
rime white and cold
brigands ungentled
icicle bold
took her young daughters
sold her strong sons
churched her with Jesus
bled her with guns.
Thus she has lain.

Now she is rising
remember her pain
remember the losses
her screams loud and vain
remember her riches
her history slain
now she is striding
although she had lain.

If you enjoyed this poem, check out Angelou’s The Complete Poetry (811.54 Angelou). The book was just released by Random House and is available today from Greenville Public Library. You can find the book in the New Books Room on the second floor.

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