You may re-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 biashara(s) 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 communal love 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.
Out of the huts of history’s shame -I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in Mau Mau pain-I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind the Kiambaa nights of terror and fear-I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear-I rise
Bringing the gifts that God gave my ancestors-I rise
I am the dream and the hope of Gikuyu & Mumbi -I rise
I rise-I rise-I rise.