The night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.

Under a dead blue sky on a distant beach,
I was dragged by my braids just beyond your reach.
Your hands were tied, your mouth was bound,
You couldn’t even call out my name.
You were helpless and so was I,
But unfortunately throughout history
You’ve worn a badge of shame.

I say, the night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark
And the walls have been steep.

But today, voices of old spirit sound
Speak to us in words profound,
Across the years, across the centuries,
Across the oceans, and across the seas.
They say, draw near to one another,
Save your race.
You have been paid for in a distant place,
The old ones remind us that slavery’s chains
Have paid for our freedom again and again.

The night has been long,
The pit has been deep,
The night has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.

The hells we have lived through and live through still,
Have sharpened our senses and toughened our will.
The night has been long.
This morning I look through your anguish
Right down to your soul.
I know that with each other we can make ourselves whole.
I look through the posture and past your disguise,
And see your love for family in your big brown eyes.

I say, clap hands and let’s come together in this meeting ground,
I say, clap hands and let’s deal with each other with love,
I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference,
Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts,
Let us come together and revise our spirits,
Let us come together and cleanse our souls,
Clap hands, let’s leave the preening
And stop impostering our own history.
Clap hands, call the spirits back from the ledge,
Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation,
Courtesy into our bedrooms,
Gentleness into our kitchen,
Care into our nursery.

The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain
We are a going-on people who will rise again.

And still we rise.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Maya Angelou's poem Million Man March Poem


  1. p`zee says:

    i think very veryy racial to white people

  2. joe says:

    your words has touch my heart, as a black. good bless you and forever leave long.

  3. Mr. Neil Stephenson says:

    How can some little words havce so much meaning? Angelou has a way of moving people like no other poet.

  4. ariel says:

    i’ve read this poem about five times today and i really enjoyed it. it inspires me to do the right thing because it can effect everyone

  5. Deja says:

    I think that this poem speaks for every black person, that knows about the history of slavery. This poem reminds all of us about what we have been through just to survive. I think what Maya Angelou is trying to say is that we should get togther and help one another so we dont have to suffer anymore. So that we could bare the pain together, become one, so that noone could break the strong barrier that us Africans Americans have. It could take us black people to make a difference if we put our minds to it. I thank you Ms. Maya Angelou for reminding us that we did go through struggle to become what we are today. Thank You

  6. Shalonda says:

    We do forget where we came from…this needs to be reached beyond the brink and cast upon the many waters. Her literature is profound and it will forever be locked in my memory. God Bless Ms. Angelou

  7. Justin Armour says:

    Thr peom of my life is the peom still i rise to the day break and all the things that the people would do to the man who would tell the thing that will not let you do.

  8. shauntel spruill says:

    This poem means alot to me because it show me that Maya Angleo really care about what our grandparent has been through back in the days.So keep up the good work Maya Angleo.

  9. Jon Howard says:

    I am profoundly moved by your words, and there are no words to describe it.

  10. ladyblk_23@yahoo says:

    We, as african american’s, have gone through soooo much and come soooo far. Once upon a time in Africa, we lived as kings and queens, in a land of riches and gold. It was only 400 yrs ago, that we were takin from the home land. We were killed, raped and beaten. On the way over here on the ships, they drowned over 100,000,000 of us. Can you imagine that??? That is over 10x the deaths of the holocaust (even though they seem to only recognize the holocaust?). And many, many more were killed, beaten and hung. Slavery was ONLY 1 single generation before my time. I am 23 and as I sit here with tears in my eyes, every tear I cry is in utmost gratification and appreciation for my ancestors. Maya Angelou depicts the life of Africans, slaves, black people with alot of her poetry. EVERY man/woman can relate to her poetry. The black person is despised, only because of their skin. It’s HARD to be black, but Maya’s inspiration makes it so much easier. I LOVE Maya Angelou. She is my ultimate role model. Every word from Maya is heartfelt by me. Thank you for everything Ms. Angelou!!!!!

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