401 Best Maya Angelou Quotes Success, Life, and Love

Maya Angelou was a poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist from the United States.

Her extensive work includes contributions to plays, films and TV over five decades.

Honored with numerous accolades, she also held over 50 honorary doctorates.

Here is a collection of the best quotes by Maya Angelou.

Best Maya Angelou Quotes

1. “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

2. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

Best Maya Angelou Quotes

3. “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

4. “Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

5. “Live as though life was created for you.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

6. “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

7. “Nothing will work unless you do.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

8. “All great achievements require time.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

9. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

10. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

11. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

12. “You’re not serious; you’re boring as hell.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

13. “Oh, the holiness of being the injured party.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

14. “That knowledge humbles me, melts my bones, closes my ears, and makes my teeth rock loosely in their gums. And it also liberates me. I am a big bird winging over high mountains, down into serene valleys. I am ripples of waves on silver seas. I’m a spring leaf trembling in anticipation.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

15. “The truth will lead me to all.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

16. “Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

17. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

18. “Success is loving life and daring to live it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

19. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

20. “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

21. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

22. “A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.” ~ (Maya Angelou).


23. “When you know better you do better.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

24. “As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

25. “Still I’ll rise.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

26. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

27. “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

28. “I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

29. “Making a living is not the same thing as making a life.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

30. “But still, like air, I’ll rise.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

31. “First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

32. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

33. “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

34. “There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

35. “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

36. “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

37. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

38. “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

39. “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!” ~ (Maya Angelou).

40. “I come as one, but stand as 10,000.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

41. “As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may not remember your name but they will never forget the way you made them feel.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

42. “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

43. “I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that’s me.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

44. “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

45. “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

46. “When you learn, teach, when you get, give.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

47. “You only are free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

48. “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

49. “Every journey begins with a single step.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

50. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

51. “There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

52. “Each of us, famous or infamous, is a role model for somebody, and if we aren’t, we should behave as though we are – cheerful, kind, loving, courteous. Because you can be sure someone is watching and taking deliberate and diligent notes.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

53. “The main thing in one’s own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

54. “We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

55. “While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

56. “Open your eyes to the beauty around you, open your mind to the wonders of life, open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

57. “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

58. “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

59. “A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

60. “We are only as blind as we want to be.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

61. “Freedom is never free.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

62. “It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

63. “I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

64. “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

65. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Please remember that your difficulties do not define you. They simply strengthen your ability to overcome.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

66. “We are more alike than unalike.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

Famous Maya Angelou Quotes

67. “Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

68. “Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

69. “Whining is not only graceless, but can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

70. “My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

71. “Difficult is a far cry from impossible. The distance between these two lies hope. Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

72. “Ritie, don’t worry ’cause you ain’t pretty. Plenty pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

73. “Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight.” ~ (Maya Angelou).


74. “At our best, we are all teachers.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

75. “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

76. “I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

77. “I am the dream and the hope of the slave.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

78. “Beneath the skin, beyond the differing features and into the true heart of being, fundamentally, we are more alike, my friend, than we are unalike.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

79. “Just like moons and suns, With certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

80. “The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

81. “Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

82. “When women take care of their health they become their own best friend.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

83. “If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

84. “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

85. “I’ve got a magic charm That I keep up my sleeve, I can walk the ocean floor And never have to breathe.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

86. “Courage allows the successful woman to fail – and to learn powerful lessons from the failure – so that in the end, she didn’t fail at all.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

87. “I want to be a good human being. I’m doing my best, and I’m working at it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

88. “I have a son, who is my heart. A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

89. “Love liberates; it doesn’t bind.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

90. “When we cast our bread upon the waters we can presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another will profit from the grantor’s gift.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

91. “I always felt, if I can get to a library, I’ll be OK.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

92. “A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

93. “People will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

94. “The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

95. “And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

96. “A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

97. “We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

98. “Thank you, always say thank you; it’s the greatest gift you can give someone; because thank you is what you say to God.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

99. “We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate – thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

100. “Life sometimes gives you a second chance.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

101. “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

102. “No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

103. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

104. “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

105. “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

106. “Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

107. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

108. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

109. “Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

110. “The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

111. “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?” ~ (Maya Angelou).

112. “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

113. “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

114. “Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

115. “Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

116. “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.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

117. “Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

118. “In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

119. “If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

120. “This is a wonderful day, I have never seen this one before.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

121. “I want to thank you, Lord, for life and all that’s in it. Thank you for the day and for the hour, and the minute.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

122. “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

123. “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

124. “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

125. “To those who are given much, much is expected.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

126. “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

127. “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

128. “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

129. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

130. “The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

131. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

132. “I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

133. “While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

134. “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

135. “Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

136. “The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they don’t know my story…” ~ (Maya Angelou).

137. “Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

138. “Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

139. “You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

140. “Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

141. “Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

142. “A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

Inspiring Maya Angelou Quotes

143. “Don’t let the man bring you down.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

144. “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

145. “Some people cannot see a good thing when it is right here, right now. Others can sense a good thing coming when it is days, months, or miles away.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

146. “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

147. “No one can take the place of a friend, no one.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

148. “Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

149. “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

150. “Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

151. “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

152. “If you are going down a road and don’t like what’s in front of you, and look behind you and don’t like what you see, get off the road. Create a new path!” ~ (Maya Angelou).


153. “I sustain myself with the love of family.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

154. “God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us – in the dreariest and most dreaded moments – can see a possibility of hope.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

155. “We need Joy as we need air. We need Love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

156. “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

157. “My mother is so full of joy and life. I am her child. And that is better than being the child of anyone else in the world.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

158. “Strong women- precious jewels all- their humanness is evident in their accessibility. We are able to enter into the spirit of these women and rejoice in their warmth and courage.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

159. “I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

160. “Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

161. “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

162. “I know why the caged bird sings.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

163. “The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

164. “Don’t bring negative to my door.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

165. “You may not remember what a person said to you, you may not remember what a person did to you, but you will never forget how a person made you feel!” ~ (Maya Angelou).

166. “Love liberates. Love – not sentimentality, not mush – but true love gives you enough courage that you can say to somebody, “Don’t do that, baby.” And the person will know you’re not preaching but teaching.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

167. “Let choice whisper in your ear and love murmur in your heart. Be ready. Here comes life.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

168. “I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

169. “If it is true that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, isn’t it also true a society is only as healthy as its sickest citizen and only as wealthy as its most deprived?” ~ (Maya Angelou).

170. “The caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

171. “The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

172. “She comprehended the perversity of life, that in the struggle lies the joy.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

173. “We are all human; therefore, nothing human can be alien to us.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

174. “You build your ‘COURAGE MUSCLE’ daily, by being courageous in little things. Just do right…” ~ (Maya Angelou).

175. “When you know you are of worth, you don’t have to raise your voice, you don’t have to become rude, you don’t have to become vulgar; you just are. And you are like the sky is, as the air is, the same way water is wet. It doesn’t have to protest.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

176. “Its not where your dreams take you, its where you take your dreams.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

177. “I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

178. “I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going. I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment. I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

179. “We are not our brother’s keeper we are our brother and we are our sister. We must look past complexion and see community.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

180. “No one comes from the earth like grass. We come like trees. We all have roots.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

181. “Light and shadow are opposite sides of the same coin. We can illuminate our paths or darken our way. It is a matter of choice.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

182. “Only equals make friends, every other relationship is contrived and off balance.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

183. “I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

184. “You have to have courage to love somebody. Because you risk everything. Everything.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

185. “Determine to live life with flair and laughter.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

186. “If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

187. “Lord keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

188. “Human beings are more alike than unalike, and what is true anywhere is true everywhere, yet I encourage travel to as many destinations as possible for the sake of education as well as pleasure.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

189. “My hope is that we develop enough courage to develop courage. To try to have, try to learn to treat each other fairly, with generosity and kindness.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

190. “My son is the best thing that ever happened to me. And through me – to a lot of people.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

191. “Love is many things. It is varied. One thing love is not, is unsure.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

192. “Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage mean we face our fears. We are able to say, ‘I have fallen, but I will get up.’” ~ (Maya Angelou).

193. “If I could give you one thought, it would be to lift someone up. Lift a stranger up – lift her up. I would ask you, mother and father, brother and sister, lovers, mother and daughter, father and son, lift someone. The very idea of lifting someone up will lift you, as well.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

194. “A joyful spirit is evidence of a grateful heart.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

195. “It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

196. “Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold, that’s ego. Love liberates.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

197. “I am a child of God. I always carry that with me.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

198. “I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

199. “The woman who survives intact and happy must be at once tender and tough.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

200. “If you have, give. If you learn, teach.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

201. “I have heard it said that winter, too, will pass, that spring is a sign that summer is due at last. See, all we have to do is hang on.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

202. “Hope is born again in the faces of children.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

203. “This is my life. It is my one time to be me. I want to experience every good thing.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

204. “I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

205. “You forgive yourself for every failure because you are trying to do the right thing. God knows that and you know it. Nobody else may know it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

206. “Poetry is music written for the human voice.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

207. “When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

208. “A leader sees greatness in other people. He nor she can be much of a leader if all she sees is herself.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

209. “I believe that every person is born with talent.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

210. “We need much less than we think we need.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

211. “I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

212. “I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

213. “The area where we are the greatest is the area in which we inspire, encourage and connect with another human being.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

214. “Poetry gave me back my voice.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

215. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” ~ (Maya Angelou).

216. “Forgive yourself – no one else will.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

217. “The thorn from the bush one has planted, nourished and pruned pricks more deeply and draws more blood.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

218. “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

219. “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

220. “If I’m here, I’ll be trying to be a better human being, a better writer, a better friend and a better beloved.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

221. “The most important thing is to DARE.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

222. “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

223. “Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

224. “Everyone grows old but not everyone grows up.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

225. “I am a woman phenomenally, phenomenal woman that is your grandmother, that is your mother, that is your sister, that is you and that is me.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

226. “Take a day to heal from the lies you’ve told yourself and the ones that have been told to you.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

Top Maya Angelou Quotes

228. “Happiness is a chance to talk to a friend, to hear good music, to have a good glass of wine. Happiness is a chance to be myself and to find people with whom I agree or who I don’t agree but I can learn something.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

229. “Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

230. “The happy heart runs with the river, floats on the air, lifts to the music, soars with the eagle, hopes with the prayer.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

231. “Still, when it looked like the sun wasn’t going to shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

232. “A mother’s love liberates.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

233. “Here on the pulse of this new day You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister’s eyes, Into your brother’s face, your country And say simply Very simply With hope Good morning.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

234. “It is sad but true that sometimes we need the tragedy to help us to see how human we are and how we are more alike than we are different.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

235. “Hope for the best, be prepared for the worse. Life is shocking, but you must never appear to be shocked. For no matter how bad it is it could be worse and no matter how good it is it could be better.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

236. “All God’s children need traveling shoes.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

237. “Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

238. “Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

239. “We all have that possibility, that potential and that promise of seeing beyond the seeming.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

240. “I am not competing with anyone other than myself. I want to be excellent at whatever I do.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

241. “Give yourself time just to be with yourself.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

242. “In order to win, we pay with energy and effort and discipline. If we lose, we pay in disappointment, discontent, and lack of fulfillment.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

243. “At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

244. “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

245. “I don’t trust any revolution where love is not allowed.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

246. “If you’re for the right thing, you do it without thinking.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

247. “It’s true. I can do anything and do it well because God loves me. It still humbles me.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

248. “I’m a spring leaf trembling in anticipation.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

249. “Faith is the evidence of the unseen.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

250. “You can never be great at anything unless you love it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

251. “Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

252. “Life is a gift, and i try to respond with grace and courtesy.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

253. “I encourage you to live with life. Be courageous, adventurous. Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

254. “Try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

255. “And I not only have the right to stand up for myself, but I have the responsibility. I can’t ask somebody else to stand up for me if I won’t stand up for myself. And once you stand up for yourself, you’d be surprised that people say, “Can I be of help?”” ~ (Maya Angelou).

256. “As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

257. “Dare to let your dreams reach beyond you.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

258. “Being a woman is hard work.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

259. “When I forgive other people, I let them go, I free them from my ignorance. And as soon as I do, I feel lighter, brighter and better.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

260. “I think I know that I deserve better. And so I try for better. I’m never so put off that I would ever walk out of a place not having tried the best I could.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

261. “I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

262. “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?” ~ (Maya Angelou).

263. “Every day I awaken I am grateful. My intent is to be totally present in that day. And laugh as much as possible.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

264. “A person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dream.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

265. “I’m grateful for being here, for being able to think, for being able to see, for being able to taste, for appreciating love – for knowing that it exists in a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, and yet love exists. I’m grateful to know that it exists.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

266. “Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

267. “Most people don’t grow up. It’s too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

268. “When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

269. “Each of us has the power and responsibility to become a rainbow in the clouds.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

270. “There’s racism and sexism and ageism and all sorts of idiocies. But bad news is not news. We’ve had bad news as a species for a long time. We’ve had slavery and human sacrifice and the holocaust and brutalities of such measure.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

271. “I will write on the pages of history what I want them to say. I will be myself. I will speak my own name.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

272. “Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: ‘I’m with you kid. Let’s go.’” ~ (Maya Angelou).

273. “The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread, and fried chicken.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

274. “Poetry helps my soul escape its encasement.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

275. “All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

276. “Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it; to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

Motivational Maya Angelou Quotes

277. “I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

278. “If I have a monument in this world, it is my son.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

279. “To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

280. “My work is to be honest. My work is to try to think clearly, then have the courage to make sure that what I say is the truth.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

281. “Life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

282. “The children to whom we read simple stories may or may not show gratitude, but each boon we give strengthens the pillars of the world.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

283. “Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

284. “You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

285. “Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

286. “I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

287. “If our children are to approve of themselves, they must see that we approve of ourselves.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

288. “Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to thrive with passion, compassion, and style.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

289. “Every experience shapes your writing, being stuck in a car on a lonely bridge, or dancing at a prom, being the it girl on the beach, all of those things influence your life, they influence how you write, and the topics you choose to write about.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

290. “It is important that we learn humility, which says there was someone else before me who paid for me. My responsibility is to prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who is yet to come.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

291. “If we are honest and fair, then we are known by that. If we are not, alas, we are known by that as well. What we want to do is do right, but you have to say it, you have to show it, and not stop.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

292. “The honorary duty of a human being is to love.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

293. “Step off the road. Build yourself a brand new path.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

294. “Whether you are happy or whether you are sad, it is wise to remember you are really in process.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

295. “Rainbows are people whose lives are bright, shining examples for others.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

296. “Eating is so intimate. It’s very sensual. When you invite someone to sit at your table and you want to cook for them, you’re inviting a person into your life.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

297. “My pride had been starched by a family who assumed unlimited authority in its own affairs.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

298. “Nothing hurts more than realizing they meant everything to you, but you meant nothing to them.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

299. “There is no place where God is not.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

300. “Love is a condition so powerful; it may be that which pulls the stars in the firmament. It may be that which pushes and urges the blood in the veins. Courage: you have to have courage to love somebody because you risk everything-ever ything.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

301. “I refuse to allow any man-made differences to separate me from any other human beings.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

302. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, the encountering may be the very experience which creates the vitality and the power to endure.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

303. “I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

304. “Age is nothing; waking up is everything.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

305. “Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives. The struggle for equality continues unabated, and the woman warrior who is armed with wit and courage will be among the first to celebrate victory.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

306. “I love the song ‘I Hope You Dance’ by Lee Ann Womack. I was going to write that song, but someone beat me to it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

307. “My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring still.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

308. “It’s amazing. I can do anything. And do it well. Any good thing, I can do it. That’s why I am who I am, yes, because God loves me and I’m amazed at it. I’m grateful for it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

309. “Life loves the liver of it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

310. “I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

311. “The truth is very important. No matter how negative it is, it is imperative that you learn the truth, not necessarily the facts. I mean, that, that can come, but facts can stand in front of the truth and almost obscure the truth. It is imperative that students learn the truth of our history.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

312. “Look heavenward and speak the word aloud. Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud. Peace.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

313. “We must create a climate where people agree that human beings are more alike than unalike. The only way to do that is through education.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

314. “It may in fact be utterly impossible to be successful without helping others to become successful.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

315. “Just as hope rings through laughter, it can also shine through tears.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

316. “We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

317. “This is what I am learning, at 82 years old: the main thing is to be in love with the search for truth.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

318. “It is a no-fail, incontrovertible reality: If you get, give. If you learn, teach. You can’t do anything with that except do it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

319. “I want all my senses engaged. Let me absorb the world’s variety and uniqueness.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

320. “We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay – and rise!” ~ (Maya Angelou).

321. “We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

322. “The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as heck we should never teach.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

323. “Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, “I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I am going to snow anyway.”” ~ (Maya Angelou).

324. “Sisterhood means if you happen to be in Burma and I happen to be in San Diego and I’m married to someone who is very jealous and you’re married to somebody who is very possessive, if you call me in the middle of the night, I have to come.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

325. “Listen carefully to what country people call mother wit. In those homely sayings are couched the collective wisdom of generations.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

326. “Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

327. “My greatest blessing has been the birth of my son. My next greatest blessing has been my ability to turn people into children of mine.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

328. “The nice thing about HOPE is that you can give it to someone else, someone who needs it even more than you do, and you will find you have not given yours away at all.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

329. “My life has been one great big joke, A dance that’s walked, A song that’s spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke, When I think about myself.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

330. “The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

331. “We have it in us to be splendid.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

332. “Don’t get older just to get wiser. If you get older, you will be wiser, I believe that – if you dare. But get older because it’s fun!” ~ (Maya Angelou).

333. “It is only out of ignorance that people are cruel, because they really don’t think it will come back.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

334. “Laugh and dare to try to love somebody, starting with yourself. You must love yourself first, of course, and you must protect yourself so that nobody overrides you, overrules you, or steps on you. Just say, ‘Just a minute. I’m worth everything, dear.’” ~ (Maya Angelou).

335. “I think the more we know the better we are. I mean not just facts. The more we know about each other, the closer we are to learn something about our selves.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

336. “Because of our routines we forget that life is an ongoing adventure.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

337. “Raising kids is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

338. “All knowledge is spendable currency, depending on the market.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

339. “If we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

340. “In so many ways, segregation shaped me, and education liberated me.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

`341. “I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

342. “Everybody is worth everything.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

343. “When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

344. “I am capable of what every other human is capable of. This is one of the great lessons of war and life .” ~ (Maya Angelou).

345. “I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

346. “Life is a glorious banquet, a limitless and delicious buffet.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

347. “I am convinced that words are things, and we simply don’t have the machinery to measure what they are. I believe that words are tangible things…” ~ (Maya Angelou).

348. “Time itself is an individual gift. It is wise to cherish it carefully and give it away generously.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

349. “Elimination of illiteracy is as serious an issue to our history as the abolition of slavery.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

350. “Let us live so we do not regret years of inertia and ignorance, so when we die we can say all of our energy was dedicated to the noble liberation of the human mind and spirit, beginning with my own.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

351. “Education helps one case cease being intimidated by strange situations.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

352. “The human heart is so delicate and sensitive that it always needs some tangible encouragement to prevent it from faltering in its labour.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

353. “When we decide to be happy we accept the responsibility to bring happiness to someone else.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

354. “Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. We come from the Creator with creativity. I think that each one of us is born with creativity.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

355. “Don’t let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don’t whine. You can be brought low, that’s OK, but don’t be reduced by them. Just say, ‘That’s life.’” ~ (Maya Angelou).

356. “Don’t let anybody raise you. You’ve been raised.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

357. “The future is plump with promise.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

358. “There is a spirit in all music, the spirit has the ability to conjure up thoughts even pictures of something that happened or you wished would happen or you anticipate happening. Music has the ability to create ideas in you and me. It has the ability to encourage us to be creative.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

359. “My grandmother told me that every good thing I do helps some human being in the world. I believed her 50 years ago and still do.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

360. “Shakespeare must be a black girl.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

361. “In order to be profoundly dishonest, a person must have one of two qualities: either he is unscrupulously ambitious, or he is unswervingly egocentric.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

362. “Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

363. “Having courage does not mean we are unafraid.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

364. “You think you may not be heard. Speak anyway.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

365. “Once you appreciate one of your blessings, one of your senses, your sense of hearing, then you begin to respect the sense of seeing and touching and tasting, you learn to respect all the senses.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

366. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

367. “In spite of everything that was done to me and my race, in spite of the adversity and the bitter moments, again we rise.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

368. “We must be warriors in the struggle against ignorance.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

369. “I’m grateful to be an American. I am grateful that we can be angry at the terrorist assault and at the same time be intelligent enough not to hold a grudge against every Arab and every Muslim.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

370. “If we don’t plant the right things, we will reap the wrong things. It goes without saying. And you don’t have to be, you know, a brilliant biochemist and you don’t have to have an IQ of 150. Just common sense tells you to be kind, ninny, fool. Be kind.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

371. “When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’” ~ (Maya Angelou).

372. “Let the brain go to work, let it meet the heart and you will be able to forgive.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

373. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

374. “Take a month and show some kindness for the folks who thought that blindness was an illness that affected eyes alone.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

375. “If you have a song to sing, who are you not to open your mouth and sing to the world?” ~ (Maya Angelou).

376. “While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man’s humanity to man.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

377. “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

378. “The best candy shop a child can be left alone in, is the library.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

379. “I think when we don’t know what to do it’s wise to do nothing. Sit down quietly; quiet our hearts and minds and breathe deeply.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

380. “Tell the truth and not the facts.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

381. “I agreed a long time ago, I would not live at any cost. If I am moved or forced away from what I think is the right thing, I will not do it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

382. “We will sometimes have defeats in life but you can have defeats without being defeated, you could fail without being a failure. When you see failure and defeats as merely part of the process to get to when.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

383. “Mostly, what I have learned so far about aging, despite the creakiness of one’s bones and cragginess of one’s once-silken skin, is this: Do it. By all means, do it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

384. “Hold those things that tell your history and protect them.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

385. “It is imperative that young white men and women study the black American history. It is imperative that blacks and whites study the Asian American history.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

386. “Don’t hesitate to learn the most painful aspects of our history, understand it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

387. “I dreamt we walked together along the shore. We made satisfying small talk and laughed. This morning I found sand in my shoe and a seashell in my pocket. Was I only dreaming?” ~ (Maya Angelou).

388. “If more Africans had eaten missionaries, the continent would be in better shape.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

389. “You have to develop ways so that you can take up for yourself, and then you take up for someone else. And so sooner or later, you have enough courage to really stand up for the human race and say, ‘I’m a representative. ’” ~ (Maya Angelou).

390. “Language. I loved it. And for a long time I would think of myself, of my whole body, as an ear.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

391. “The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

392. “All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

393. “If we live long enough, we may even get over war. I imagine a time when somebody will mention the word war and everyone in the room will start to laugh. And what do you mean war?” ~ (Maya Angelou).

394. “Every Day you should reach out and touch someone.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

395. “Let me tell so much truth. I want to tell the truth in my work. The truth will lead me to all.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

396. “Love recognizes no barriers.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

397. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

398. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

399. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

400. “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

401. “When you do nothing you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” ~ (Maya Angelou).

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Short Biography of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson in 1928, was a renowned American writer and civil rights advocate.

Her notable works include seven autobiographies, with “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” bringing her global fame.

Full Name Marguerite Annie Johnson
Born 4 April 1928, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died 28 May 2014 (age 86 years), Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Children Guy Johnson
Spouse Paul du Feu (m. 1974–1983), Enistasious Tosh Angelos (m. 1951–1954)
Parents Vivian Baxter Johnson, Bailey Johnson
Occupation Writer, Poet, Civil Rights Activist
Period 1951–2014
Subject Memoir, Poetry
Website www.mayaangelou.com

Angelou’s diverse career spanned acting, directing, and activism, notably collaborating with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Her contributions to literature and the Civil Rights Movement earned her numerous awards and honorary degrees.

Angelou’s writings, celebrating Black culture and addressing themes like racism and identity, remain influential in educational settings, despite some controversy.

Quick Facts about Maya Angelou

  • Maya Angelou was born as Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928.
  • Angelou became renowned as a memoirist, poet, and civil rights activist.
  • She authored seven autobiographies, with “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” being her first and most famous.
  • Angelou held a myriad of jobs, including fry cook, nightclub dancer, and sex worker.
  • She played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement, working alongside MLK Jr. and Malcolm X.
  • Angelou was the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
  • In 1993, she recited her poem at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, a first since Robert Frost in 1961.
  • Angelou’s works are considered crucial in understanding Black culture and identity.
  • She faced childhood trauma, including sexual abuse, which led to nearly five years of muteness.
  • Angelou’s love for literature blossomed under the mentorship of Mrs. Bertha Flowers.
  • At 16, she became the first Black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco.
  • Her son, Clyde “Guy” Johnson, was born when she was just 17.
  • Angelou married Tosh Angelos in 1951, despite societal disapproval of interracial marriages.
  • She toured Europe with the opera Porgy and Bess, enhancing her language skills.
  • Angelou’s name change to “Maya Angelou” was inspired by her calypso dance performances.
  • She moved to Ghana, engaging in the expatriate community and working at the University of Ghana.
  • Angelou’s friendship with Malcolm X in Ghana was pivotal in her life.
  • Despite no formal college degree, she embraced the title “Dr. Angelou.”
  • Her screenplay, “Georgia, Georgia,” was the first by a Black woman to be produced.
  • Oprah Winfrey considered Angelou a mentor and close friend.
  • Angelou actively participated in the lecture circuit well into her eighties.
  • She was honored with more than 50 honorary degrees for her contributions.
  • Angelou’s residence in Harlem was filled with artwork and books, reflecting her interests.
  • She was known for her extravagant and welcoming gatherings at her homes.
  • Angelou had a unique writing process, involving solitude, sherry, and solitaire.
  • Her literary legacy includes various awards and recognition across genres.
  • Angelou supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries before backing Barack Obama.
  • Her personal papers were donated to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
  • Angelou’s heritage was traced back to the Mende people of West Africa.
  • Maya Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014, leaving behind a vast body of work that continues to inspire.

Top Questions about Maya Angelou

Q: What significant inauguration event featured Maya Angelou’s poetry?

A: Maya Angelou famously recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” during Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration in 1993, marking a momentous occasion as the first poet to perform at an inauguration since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s in 1961.

Q: How did Angelou’s formative years shape her autobiographical works?

A: Drawing deeply from her childhood and young adulthood, Maya Angelou crafted seven autobiographical volumes, starting with “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” that explore themes such as racial identity, family dynamics, and personal growth.

Q: What innovative narrative techniques did Angelou employ in her autobiographies?

A: Angelou reinvented the autobiographical genre by infusing elements of fiction, creating a more engaging and reflective narrative style that delves into her personal life’s complexities.

Q: Can you discuss Angelou’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement?

A: Angelou actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement, collaborating with luminaries like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, organizing supportive events, and leveraging her literary talents to champion the causes of equality and justice.

Q: What impact did Mrs. Bertha Flowers have on Angelou’s literary path?

A: Mrs. Bertha Flowers played a pivotal role in rekindling Angelou’s communication skills and love for literature by introducing her to classic works, thus igniting Angelou’s passion for storytelling and poetry.

Q: What key career transition did Angelou make from performing arts to literature?

A: Angelou’s career took a significant turn when she moved to New York to focus on writing, influenced by novelist John Oliver Killens, which led her to join the Harlem Writers Guild and begin publishing her work.

Q: What barrier did Angelou break as a streetcar conductor in San Francisco?

A: At just 16, Angelou became the first Black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco, showcasing her resilience and pioneering spirit in breaking racial and gender barriers.

Q: How did Angelou’s experiences in Africa influence her perspective and work?

A: Angelou’s tenure in Cairo and Ghana amid Africa’s decolonization period enriched her worldview, influencing her literature and activism with a deeper understanding of global cultures and political dynamics.

Q: What made Angelou’s teaching career at Wake Forest University notable despite her lack of a formal degree?

A: Maya Angelou brought to Wake Forest University a rich tapestry of life experiences and a deep understanding of various subjects, making her a beloved and impactful professor despite not having a bachelor’s degree.

Q: How were Angelou’s personal struggles reflected in her advocacy work?

A: Angelou’s advocacy for women and African Americans was deeply rooted in her personal battles with racism and abuse, using her voice and literary talents to promote social justice and inspire change.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar