Poetry On Beale Street

Because The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

About Us

Poetry on Beale Street is inspired by and lovingly adapted from James Baldwin’s heart-wrenching, thought provoking, and timeless novel If Beale Street Could Talk. Just as both the book and the most recent film adaptation, Poetry on Beale Street gives prominence to various omnipresent themes of what means to be black in America.

This platform utilizes poetry and vivid imagery to highlight black love, the black family, social injustice, and the ever so tiring fight against systematic oppression. All done with the intention to shift the current black narrative and inspire social change.

The poem featured this week was chosen enlight of the current state of affairs and the outcry from our global society. With worldwide protest fighting for justice against state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism, the words of the late great poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, are made even more pertinent in her classic piece Still I Rise.

Peaceful Protest
Still I Rise!

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 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.

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.

Check out the the resources below as well as subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date on the many way that you can use your voice to create change!

Resources For Change

Black Lives Matter

#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.

Color of Change

Color of Change leads campaigns that build real power for Black communities. They challenge injustice, hold corporate and political leaders accountable, commission game-changing research on systems of inequality, and advance solutions for racial justice that can transform our world.

Workers Center for Racial Justice

The Workers Center for Racial Justice is a grassroots organization fighting for Black Liberation and a fair and inclusive society that benefits all people. They organize Black workers and their families to address the root causes of high rates of unemployment, low-wage work and over-criminalization impacting Black communities. Also, they focus on direct action organizing, policy advocacy, leadership development and voter engagement, to build a caring economy and society that allows Black people to reach their full human potential.

Click here to subcribe to our weekly newsletter!

Coded by Ronshalee Sparks