What are the best Maya Angelou quotes?

Accurate and famous quotes by Maya Angelou about people, life, love, myself, person. Maya Angelou is well-known American poet with many wise quotes. You can read the best of all time and enjoy Top 10 lists. Share the best Maya Angelou sayings with your friends and family.


  1. If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.


  2. Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.


  3. Courage: the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.


  4. If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.




  5. We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.


  6. The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.


  7. If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.


  8. You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.


  9. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.


  10. Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.


  11. I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'.


  12. Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.


  13. If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.


  14. There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth. Why is truth so hard to believe?


  15. I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

    • inspirational

  16. When you know better you do better.


  17. 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.


  18. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.


  19. If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.


  20. A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.


  21. I believe that every person is born with talent.


  22. I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.


  23. Be present in all things and thankful for all things.


  24. It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.


  25. I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.


  26. Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!

    • inspirational

  27. I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that's me.


  28. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.

    • anger

  29. A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally.


  30. Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.




Maya Angelou image quotes

What are the best Maya Angelou images quotes? Read and bookmark finest sayings from Maya Angelou, embed as quotes on beautiful images. Those images have people quotes, life quotes, love quotes, myself quotes, person quotes.


  1. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about trust

    I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh.


  2. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about desire

    I know why the caged bird sings.


  3. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about good

    If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?


  4. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about motivational

    A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.


  5. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about learn

    Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn't know before you learned it.


  6. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about inspirational

    We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.


  7. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about rainbow

    Be a rainbow in someone elses cloud.


  8. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about difference

    There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.


  9. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about trust

    I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh.


  10. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about inner

    Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.


  11. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about friend

    A friend may be waiting behind a strangers face.


  12. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about desire

    The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.


  13. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about diversity

    In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.


  14. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about laugh

    I don't trust anyone who doesnt laugh.


  15. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about inspirational

    I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.


  16. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about life

    Determine to live life with flair and laughter.


  17. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about yourself

    The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.


  18. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about beauty

    We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.


  19. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about attitude

    When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully everyone is blessed.


  20. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about rise

    No sun outlasts its sunset but will rise again and bring the dawn.


  21. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about inspirational

    If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.


  22. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about success

    Success is liking yourself,liking what you do, and liking how you do it.


  23. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about hate

    HATE. Caused a lot of problems but not solved one!


  24. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about life

    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.


  25. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about inspirational

    Try to be a rainbow in someones cloud.


  26. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about inspirational

    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.


  27. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about learn

    I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.


  28. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about work

    Nothing will work unless you do.


  29. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about inspirational

    Try to be a rainbow in someones cloud.


  30. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about agony

    There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.


  31. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about personality

    If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.


  32. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about creativity

    You can't use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have


  33. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about creativity

    You can't use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have


  34. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about bring

    Don't bring negative to my door .


  35. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about hate

    Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world, but is has not solved one yet.


  36. Picture quote by Maya Angelou about self

    Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud ~Maya Angelou


That are top sayings from Maya Angelou as picture quotes. Top 10 Maya Angelou images quotes. Access more quotations by Maya Angelou with images on Pinterest.

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About Maya Angelou

Name Maya Angelou
About Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, is an American poet,
Quotes 311 quotes
Nationality American
Profession Poet
Birthday April 4, 1928
Top topics people, life, love, myself, person

Where is Maya Angelou from? Maya Angelou is American who said awesome wise words. Well-known and respected in American society for wise sayings. The following quotations and images represent the American nature embed in Maya Angelou's character.

What Maya Angelou was famous for? Maya Angelou is famous poet with many good quotes. Influential and well recognized poet all over the world. Browse a lot of Maya Angelou books and reference books with quotes from Maya Angelou on Amazon.


What are the best people quotes by Maya Angelou?


    Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.

    • priority

    If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.

    • valentines

    The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.

    • people

    I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

    • ritual

    It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

    • beauty

    I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

    • people

    My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.

    • education

    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.


    Most people don't grow up. It's too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. That's the truth of it. They honor their credit cards, they find parking spaces, they marry, they have the nerve to have children, but they don't grow up.

    • truth

    I never had that feeling that I had to carry the weight of somebody's ignorance around with me. And that was true for racists who wanted to use the 'n' word when talking about me or about my people, or the stupidity of people who really wanted to belittle other folks because they weren't pretty or they weren't rich or they weren't clever.


    The only thing is, people have to develop courage. It is most important of all the virtues. Because without courage, you can't practice any other virtues consistently.


    I will not sit in a room with black people when the N word is used. I know it was meant to belittle a person, so I will not sit there and have that poison put on me. Now a black person can say, 'Oh, you know, I can use this word because I'm black.'


    One of my lungs is half gone, and the other half, because I smoked for years, has a lesion. So I can't swim anymore and had the swimming pool covered over. Now it's what I call the dance pavilion, and so I and my friends sit out and put music on and watch people dance.

    • music

    I think Clinton, after getting into office and into Washington, was shocked at being bludgeoned. So he spent time trying to be all things to all people - one way guaranteed not to be successful or respected in a lion's den. You can't just play around with all those big cats - you've got to take somebody on.


    I'm just like you - I want to be a good human being. I'm doing my best, and I'm working at it. And I'm trying to be a Christian. I'm always amazed when people walk up to me and say, 'I'm a Christian.' I always think, 'Already? You've already got it?' I'm working at it. And at my age, I'll still be working at it at 96.

    • good

    What humility does for one is it reminds us that there are people before me. I have already been paid for. And what I need to do is prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who has yet to come but who may be here and needs me.


    Growing up, my grandmother did not want worldly music in the house. Then when I went out to California, I started listening to Spanish music, mostly Mexican music. But were I in Egypt, I would listen to the music of the people, or if I was in Italy, I'd listen to Italian music.

    • music

    The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.


    If I'm the people's poet, then I ought to be in people's hands - and, I hope, in their heart.

    • hope

    Living in a state of terror was new to many white people in America, but black people have been living in a state of terror in this country for more than 400 years.

    • black

    If I walked into the kitchen without washing my hands as a kid, I'd hear a loud 'A-hem!' from my mother or grandmother. Now I count on other people to do the same.


    I'm always disappointed when people don't live up to their potential. I know that a number of people look down on themselves and consequently on everybody who looks like them. But that, too, can change.


    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.


    At one time, you could sit on the Rue de la Paix in Paris or at the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv or in Medina and you could see a person come in, black, white, it didn't matter. You said, 'That's an American' because there's a readiness to smile and to talk to people.


    Timidity makes a person modest. It makes him or her say, 'I'm not worthy of being written up in the record of deeds in heaven or on earth.' Timidity keeps people from their good. They are afraid to say, 'Yes, I deserve it.'

    • good

    Black people comprehend the South. We understand its weight. It has rested on our backs... I knew that my heart would break if ever I put my foot down on that soil, moist, still, with old hurts. I had to face the fear/loathing at its source or it would consume me whole.

    • heart

    It's very important to know the neighbor next door and the people down the street and the people in another race.

    • people

    I thank God I'm myself and for the life I'm given to live and for friends and lovers and beloveds, and I thank God for knowing that all those people have already paid for me.


    I admire people who dare to take the language, English, and understand it and understand the melody.

    • people

More people quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best life quotes by Maya Angelou?


    Courage: the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

    • character

    I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'.

    • living

    Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: I'm with you kid. Let's go.


    There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.

    • life

    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


    Life loves the liver of it.

    • life

    Touched by an Angel - We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life. Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain. Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls. We are weaned from our timidity In the flush of love's light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.

    • life

    I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.

    • life

    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.

    • life

    I have a feeling that I make a very good friend, and I'm a good mother, and a good sister, and a good citizen. I am involved in life itself - all of it. And I have a lot of energy and a lot of nerve.

    • life

    Modesty is a learned affectation. And as soon as life slams the modest person against the wall, that modesty drops.

    • life

    Our stories come from our lives and from the playwright's pen, the mind of the actor, the roles we create, the artistry of life itself and the quest for peace.

    • life

    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.

    • life

    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.

    • life

    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.'

    • life

    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.

    • life

    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.

    • life

    In a magazine, one can get - from cover to cover - 15 to 20 different ideas about life and how to live it.

    • life

    At one time in my life, from the time I was seven until I was about 13, I didn't speak. I only spoke to my brother. The reason I didn't speak: I had been molested, and I told the name of the molester to my brother who told it to the family.

    • life

    I know that one of the great arts that the writer develops is the art of saying, 'No. No, I'm finished. Bye.' And leaving it alone. I will not write it into the ground. I will not write the life out of it. I won't do that.

    • life

    If you want what you're saying heard, then take your time and say it so that the listener will actually hear it. You might save somebody's life. Your own, first.

    • life

    I'm considered wise, and sometimes I see myself as knowing. Most of the time, I see myself as wanting to know. And I see myself as a very interested person. I've never been bored in my life.

    • life

    I thank God I'm myself and for the life I'm given to live and for friends and lovers and beloveds, and I thank God for knowing that all those people have already paid for me.

    • life

    I was born in St. Louis but lived there just for a few minutes in my life.

    • life

More life quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best love quotes by Maya Angelou?


    If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.

    • valentines

    If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.


    Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.


    Touched by an Angel - We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life. Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain. Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls. We are weaned from our timidity In the flush of love's light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.

    • life

    A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications. Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent.


    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 you.


    Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

    • love

    Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.

    • love

    Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.

    • love

    In the flush of love's light, we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.

    • love

    We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans - because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That's why we paint, that's why we dare to love someone - because we have the impulse to explain who we are.

    • love

    Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin - find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.

    • love

    The love of the family, the love of one person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.

    • family

    The loss of young first love is so painful that it borders on the ludicrous.

    • love

    Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.

    • love

    I love wisdom. And you can never be great at anything unless you love it. Not be in love with it, but love the thing, admire the thing. And it seems that if you love the thing, and you don't just want to possess it, it will find you.

    • love

    I love a Hebrew National hot dog with an ice-cold Corona - no lime. If the phone rings, I won't answer until I'm done.

    • love

    I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.

    • love

    Human beings love poetry. They don't even know it sometimes... whether they're the songs of Bono, or the songs of Justin Bieber... they're listening to poetry.

    • love

    I love the melodies in the Old Testament, how preachers highlight them when they read from the Scripture. But I was influenced forever by the New Testament. I love the Beatitudes, informing us that the meek shall inherit the earth.

    • love

    Encouragement to all women is - let us try to offer help before we have to offer therapy. That is to say, let's see if we can't prevent being ill by trying to offer a love of prevention before illness.

    • women

    The sadness of the women's movement is that they don't allow the necessity of love. See, I don't personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.

    • women

    I could fall in love with a sumo wrestler if he told stories and made me laugh. Obviously, it would be easier if someone was African-American and lived next door and went to the same church. Because then I wouldn't have to translate.

    • love

    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.

    • love

More love quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best myself quotes by Maya Angelou?


    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.


    At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself. 5 Things to Know About Maya Angelou.

    • myself

    I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.


    I would be a liar, a hypocrite, or a fool - and I'm not any of those - to say that I don't write for the reader. I do. But for the reader who hears, who really will work at it, going behind what I seem to say. So I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues.


    I always knew from that moment, from the time I found myself at home in that little segregated library in the South, all the way up until I walked up the steps of the New York City library, I always felt, in any town, if I can get to a library, I'll be OK. It really helped me as a child, and that never left me.

    • myself

    I know some people might think it odd - unworthy even - for me to have written a cookbook, but I make no apologies. The U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins thought I had demeaned myself by writing poetry for Hallmark Cards, but I am the people's poet so I write for the people.

    • myself

    I read the Bible to myself; I'll take any translation, any edition, and read it aloud, just to hear the language, hear the rhythm, and remind myself how beautiful English is.

    • myself

    I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.

    • myself

    I promised myself that I would write as well as I can, tell the truth, not to tell everything I know, but to make sure that everything I tell is true, as I understand it. And to use the eloquence which my language affords me.

    • myself

    What humility does for one is it reminds us that there are people before me. I have already been paid for. And what I need to do is prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who has yet to come but who may be here and needs me.

    • myself

    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.

    • myself

    I'm considered wise, and sometimes I see myself as knowing. Most of the time, I see myself as wanting to know. And I see myself as a very interested person. I've never been bored in my life.

    • life

    The language of all the interpretations, the translations, of the Judaic Bible and the Christian Bible, is musical, just wonderful. I read the Bible to myself; I'll take any translation, any edition, and read it aloud, just to hear the language, hear the rhythm, and remind myself how beautiful English is.

    • myself

    I liked to write from the time I was about 12 or 13. I loved to read. And since I only spoke to my brother, I would write down my thoughts. And I think I wrote some of the worst poetry west of the Rockies. But by the time I was in my 20s, I found myself writing little essays and more poetry - writing at writing.

    • myself

    I thank God I'm myself and for the life I'm given to live and for friends and lovers and beloveds, and I thank God for knowing that all those people have already paid for me.

    • life

    I created myself. I have taught myself so much.

    • myself

    I know that I'm not the easiest person to live with. The challenge I put on myself is so great that the person I live with feels himself challenged. I bring a lot to bear, and I don't know how not to.

    • myself

    I'm very, very serious - I'm serious enough not to take myself too seriously. That means I can be completely wedded to the moment. But when I leave that moment, I want to be completely wedded to the next moment.

    • myself

More myself quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best person quotes by Maya Angelou?


    I know that when I pray, something wonderful happens. Not just to the person or persons for whom I'm praying, but also something wonderful happens to me. I'm grateful that I'm heard.


    Modesty is a learned affectation. And as soon as life slams the modest person against the wall, that modesty drops.

    • life

    When a person is going through hell, and she encounters someone who went through hellish hell and survived, then she can say, 'Mine is not so bad as all that. She came through, and so can I.'


    The love of the family, the love of one person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.

    • family

    I will not sit in a room with black people when the N word is used. I know it was meant to belittle a person, so I will not sit there and have that poison put on me. Now a black person can say, 'Oh, you know, I can use this word because I'm black.'

    • black

    For a person who grew up in the '30s and '40s in the segregated South, with so many doors closed without explanation to me, libraries and books said, 'Here I am, read me.' Over time I have learned I am at my best around books.


    And if a person is religious, I think it's good, it helps you a bit. But if you're not, at least you can have the sense that there is a condition inside you which looks at the stars with amazement and awe.

    • good

    Everyone has at least one story, and each of us is funny if we admit it. You have to admit you're the funniest person you've ever heard of.


    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.

    • life

    A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.


    I'm happy to be a writer - of prose, poetry, every kind of writing. Every person in the world who isn't a recluse, hermit or mute uses words. I know of no other art form that we always use.


    If you will have a person enslaved, the first thing you must do is convince yourself that the person is subhuman. The second thing you have to do is convince your allies so you'll have some help, and the third and probably unkindest cut of all is to convince that person that he or she is subhuman and deserves it.

    • yourself

    Timidity makes a person modest. It makes him or her say, 'I'm not worthy of being written up in the record of deeds in heaven or on earth.' Timidity keeps people from their good. They are afraid to say, 'Yes, I deserve it.'

    • good

    If you're serious, you really understand that it's important that you laugh as much as possible and admit that you're the funniest person you ever met. You have to laugh. Admit that you're funny. Otherwise, you die in solemnity.

    • funny

    If you were the President of the United States or the Queen of England - you couldn't have a person who would be more protective than my mother was for me. Which meant really that I could dare to do all sorts of things.

    • mother

    I know that I'm not the easiest person to live with. The challenge I put on myself is so great that the person I live with feels himself challenged. I bring a lot to bear, and I don't know how not to.

    • myself

    I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine... before she realizes she's reading.


More person quotes or go to table of contents


More quotes by Maya Angelou

Want some more good quotations by Maya Angelou? Explore the rest of 311 sayings by Maya Angelou.


Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.


How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! A Poet and Hero to Remember


If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.

  • die

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

  • people



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.


At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.


Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: I'm with you kid. Let's go.

  • kid

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.

  • god

There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.

  • life

Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.


Education helps one case cease being intimidated by strange situations.

  • education

...there is a difference between being convinced and being stubborn. I


Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

  • always

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.


I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.


We need much less than we think we need.


As far as I knew white women were never lonely, except in books. White men adored them, Black men desired them and Black women worked for them.


The need for change bulldozed road down the center of my mind.

  • change

The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.

  • education

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.

  • smile

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.


There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.


All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.


I answer the heroic question Death where is thy sting? It is here in my heart and mind and memories


There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.


Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.


Since time is the one immaterial object which we cannot influence -- neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish -- it is an imponderably valuable gift.

  • time

Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life.


Something made greater by ourselves and in turn that makes us greater.

  • work

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.


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.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

  • measured

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.


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.


It is only out of ignorance that people are cruel, because they really don

  • ignorance

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.


Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.


Life loves the liver of it.

  • life

Touched by an Angel - We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life. Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain. Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls. We are weaned from our timidity In the flush of love's light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.

  • life

I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.

  • life

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.


You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.


We love and lose in China, we weep on England's moors, and laugh and moan in Guinea, and thrive on Spanish shores. We seek success in Finland, are born and die in Maine. In minor ways we differ, in major we're the same.


While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man's humanity to man.


Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaken need for an unshakable God.

  • children

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.


I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.

  • god

At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself. 5 Things to Know About Maya Angelou.

  • myself

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody

  • wisdom

The white American man makes the white American woman maybe not superfluous but just a little kind of decoration. Not really important to turning around the wheels of the state. Well the black American woman has never been able to feel that way. No black American man at any time in our history in the United States has been able to feel that he didn't need that black woman right against him, shoulder to shoulder -- in that cotton field, on the auction block, in the ghetto, wherever.


Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

  • inspirational

I don't think there's such a thing as autobiographical fiction. If I say it happened, it happened, even if only in my mind.


I've always written. There's a journal which I kept from about 9 years old. The man who gave it to me lived across the street from the store and kept it when my grandmother's papers were destroyed. I'd written some essays. I loved poetry, still do. But I really, really loved it then.


I speak a number of languages, but none are more beautiful to me than English.


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?”


The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.

  • heart

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.


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.


All of childhood's unanswered questions must finally be passed back to the town and answered there. Heroes and bogey men, values and dislikes, are first encountered and labeled in that early environment. In later years they change faces, places and maybe races, tactics, intensities and goals, but beneath those penetrable masks they wear forever the stocking-capped faces of childhood.


I don't know how much longer I'll be around. I'll probably be writing when the Lord says, 'Maya, Maya Angelou, it's time.'

  • time

The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God - if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That's what I think.

  • god

The terrorist action of 9/11 gave birth to President Obama's entry to the White House. Not directly, but indirectly.


I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water.


I'm very, very serious - I'm serious enough not to take myself too seriously. That means I can be completely wedded to the moment. But when I leave that moment, I want to be completely wedded to the next moment.

  • myself

At one time, you could sit on the Rue de la Paix in Paris or at the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv or in Medina and you could see a person come in, black, white, it didn't matter. You said, 'That's an American' because there's a readiness to smile and to talk to people.

  • smile

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!


I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.

  • love

The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.


Though I do manage to mumble around in about seven or eight languages, English remains the most beautiful of languages. It will do anything.

  • beautiful

If you want what you're saying heard, then take your time and say it so that the listener will actually hear it. You might save somebody's life. Your own, first.

  • life

The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread, and fried chicken.

  • best

Easy reading is damn hard writing. But if it's right, it's easy. It's the other way round, too. If it's slovenly written, then it's hard to read. It doesn't give the reader what the careful writer can give the reader.


I would be stupid not to be on my own side. But I'm a human being, too. And I'm on the side of human beings, rather than on the side of crocodiles.


It's good to remember that in crises, natural crises, human beings forget for awhile their ignorances, their biases, their prejudices. For a little while, neighbors help neighbors and strangers help strangers.

  • good

I'm interested in women's health because I'm a woman. I'd be a darn fool not to be on my own side.

  • women

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.

  • life

I like to have guns around. I don't like to carry them.


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.


A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.

  • she

I love wisdom. And you can never be great at anything unless you love it. Not be in love with it, but love the thing, admire the thing. And it seems that if you love the thing, and you don't just want to possess it, it will find you.

  • love

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.

  • blessing

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.

  • myself

During bad circumstances, which is the human inheritance, you must decide not to be reduced. You have your humanity, and you must not allow anything to reduce that. We are obliged to know we are global citizens. Disasters remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not.


When I write, I tend to twist my hair. Something for my small mind to do, I guess.

  • mind

We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans - because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That's why we paint, that's why we dare to love someone - because we have the impulse to explain who we are.

  • love

I know that I've been guided by God. I am obedient.

  • god

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.


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!


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.

  • best

I did work in a strip club, but I didn't strip. I danced, and I became very popular.

  • work

Growing up, I decided, a long time ago, I wouldn't accept any manmade differences between human beings, differences made at somebody else's insistence or someone else's whim or convenience.

  • time

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.

  • love

I agree with Balzac and 19th-century writers, black and white, who say, 'I write for money.' Yes, I think everybody should be paid handsomely; I insist on it, and I pay people who work for me, or with me, handsomely.

  • work

For a person who grew up in the '30s and '40s in the segregated South, with so many doors closed without explanation to me, libraries and books said, 'Here I am, read me.' Over time I have learned I am at my best around books.

  • best

I refuse to allow any man-made differences to separate me from any other human beings.


I know that one of the great arts that the writer develops is the art of saying, 'No. No, I'm finished. Bye.' And leaving it alone. I will not write it into the ground. I will not write the life out of it. I won't do that.

  • life

In a long meter hymn, a singer - they call it 'lays out a line.' And then the whole church joins in in repeating that line. And they form a wall of harmony so tight, you can't wedge a pin between it.


I'm just like you - I want to be a good human being. I'm doing my best, and I'm working at it. And I'm trying to be a Christian. I'm always amazed when people walk up to me and say, 'I'm a Christian.' I always think, 'Already? You've already got it?' I'm working at it. And at my age, I'll still be working at it at 96.

  • good

I'm happy to be a writer - of prose, poetry, every kind of writing. Every person in the world who isn't a recluse, hermit or mute uses words. I know of no other art form that we always use.

  • art

Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.

  • love

What humility does for one is it reminds us that there are people before me. I have already been paid for. And what I need to do is prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who has yet to come but who may be here and needs me.

  • myself

Whenever I'm around some who is modest, I think, 'Run like hell and all of fire.' You don't want modesty, you want humility.


I think music is one of the hero/sheroes of the African-American existence.

  • music

I was married a few times, and one of my husbands was jealous of me writing.

  • me

Won't it be wonderful when black history and native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.

  • history

The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.

  • truth

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.

  • life

Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.

  • love

I'm always disappointed when people don't live up to their potential. I know that a number of people look down on themselves and consequently on everybody who looks like them. But that, too, can change.

  • change

I've never had a dislike for men. I've been badly treated by some. But I've been loved greatly by some. I married a lot of them.

  • men

Of course, there are those critics - New York critics as a rule - who say, 'Well, Maya Angelou has a new book out and of course it's good but then she's a natural writer.' Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language.

  • work

I was very blessed to have family and friends, but particularly family, who told me I was not only all right, I was just right, so I believe that my brain is a good one, and it's lasting me very well.

  • family

I created myself. I have taught myself so much.

  • myself

You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise.

  • history

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.

  • history

I know that when I pray, something wonderful happens. Not just to the person or persons for whom I'm praying, but also something wonderful happens to me. I'm grateful that I'm heard.

  • grateful

If we accept being talked to any kind of a way, then we are telling ourselves we are not quite worth the best. And if we have the effrontery to talk to anybody with less than courtesy, we tell ourselves and the world we are not very intelligent.

  • best

It's very important to know the neighbor next door and the people down the street and the people in another race.

  • people

I liked to write from the time I was about 12 or 13. I loved to read. And since I only spoke to my brother, I would write down my thoughts. And I think I wrote some of the worst poetry west of the Rockies. But by the time I was in my 20s, I found myself writing little essays and more poetry - writing at writing.

  • myself

I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.

  • myself


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Maya Angelou favorite topics

Maya Angelou is famous for his passion about people, life, love, myself, person. Check out great quotations and affirmations on these topics.


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When was Maya Angelou birthday? Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928.

Who is Maya Angelou? Some facts about Maya Angelou from biography. Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, is an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. Maya Angelou is known for ... Read more about Maya Angelou on Wikipedia or watch videos with quotes from Maya Angelou on YouTube. Browse a lot of books about Maya Angelou on Amazon to get more reference.

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