A Message From Maya Angelou


           A Pledge to Rescue 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 mountain tops.
Come up from the gloom of the 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 nonthreatening streets
employment which makes you use your talents,
but does not degrade your dignity.
You are the best we have
You are all we have​
You are what we have become
We pledge you our whole hearts from this day forward.​


Maya Angelo wrote this poem exclusively for The National Cares Mentoring Movement