Maya Angelou was an author, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist. In her 86 years on this earth, she will likely be most remembered for her poems, where her keen insight shines through. She won three Grammy Awards for spoken-word recordings of her poetry and prose and was invited by President-elect Bill Clinton to read an original poem at his first inauguration in 1993, making her the second poet, after Robert Frost, to be so honored. Active in the Civil Rights Movement, she worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
One of her most famous quotes:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” May 22, 2017
In continuing the spotlight on Black History Month, the Gabriola Arts Council presents you with a poem. A poem for youth and one that speaks loudly to the importance of empowering the younger generation. After you read the poem Google Maya Angelou and you will find yourself with much to review.
A Pledge to Save Our Youth
Young women, young men of color,
we add our voices to the voices of your ancestors
who speak to you over ancient seas
and across impossible mountain tops.
Come up from the gloom of national neglect,
you have already been paid for.
Come out of the shadow of irrational prejudice,
you owe no racial debt to history.
The blood of our bodies
and the prayers of our souls
have bought you a future free
from shame and bright beyond the telling of it.
We pledge ourselves and our resources
to seek for you clean and well-furnished schools,
safe and non-threatening streets,
employment which makes use of your talents, but does not degrade your
You are the bet we have.
You are all we have.
You are what we have become.
We pledge you our whole hearts from this day forward.