Maya Angelou Quotes (173 Quotes)






    The city became for me the ideal of what I wanted to be as a grown-up. Friendly, but never gushing, cool but not frigid or distant, distinguished without the awful stiffness.




    Without willing it, I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware. And the worst part of my awareness was that I didn't know what I was aware of. I knew I knew very little, but I was certain that the things I had yet to learn wouldn't be taught to me at George Washington High School.



    I had read a Tale of Two Cities and found it up to my standards as a romantic novel. She opened the first page and I heard poetry for the first time in my life...her voice slid in and curved down trough and over the words. She was nearly singing.


    Her passion was never spent in public display.

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

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

    I was thinking about that, about the journeys in the film, journey to the roots, journey to the heart. We're all on journeys.

    this is my life. it is my one time to be me. i want to experience every good thing.

    love builds up the broken walland straigtens the crooked path.love keeps the stars in the firmament and imposes rhythm on te ocean tideseach of us is created of itand i suspecteach of us was created for it

    In today's climate in our country, which is sickened with the pollution of pollution, threatened with the prominence of AIDS, riddled with burgeoning racism, rife with growing huddles of the homeless, we need art and we need art in all forms. We need all methods of art to be present, everywhere present, and all the time present.


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

    Those of us who have gathered here, ... we owe something from this minute on, so this gathering is not just another footnote on the pages of history.

    It is not the answer you look for that makes you strong. It's the ways that you take that define who you are and what you can do.

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

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

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

    There is a kind of strength that is almost frightening in black women. It's as if a steel rod runs right through the head down to the feet.

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

    I do not believe that the accident of birth makes people sisters and brothers. It makes them siblings. Gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood are conditions people have to work at. It's a serious matter. You compromise, you give, you take, you stand firm, and you're relentless...And it is an investment. 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.

    She cherished her race. She cherished women. She cared for gay and straight people. She prayed nightly for Palestine and equally for Israel.

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

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

    Some critics will write 'Maya Angelou is a natural writer' - which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.

    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.

    You may write me down in historyWith your bitter, twisted lies,You may trod me in the very dirtBut still, like dust, I'll rise.

    I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that. 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 hell we should never teach.

    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.

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

    Ive learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

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

    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. Each of us has a few minutes a day or a few hours a week which we could donate to an old folks home or a children's hospital ward. The elderly whose pillows we plump or whose water pitchers we refill may or may not thank us for our gift, but the gift is upholding the foundation of the universe.

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

    I am serious, so I laugh a lot. You need to laugh. You don't laugh enough. I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh.

    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.


    When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace,love, prosperity, happiness... all the good things.

    He loved her. ... she can be talking to me about regular things but when she mentions Martin, her voice always falls a little bit and you can sense the intimacy. ... The sweetness of that relationship was always evident.

    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 that grantor's gift.

    I answer the heroic question Death, where is they sting with It is here in my heart and mind and memories.

    I believe that every person is born with talent.


    More Maya Angelou Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Love - Life - People - Hope - Education - Woman - Charity - Time - Courage - Man - World - Hospitality - Laughter - God - Mind - Money & Wealth - Friendship - Mastery & Expertise - Dreams - View All Maya Angelou Quotations

    More Maya Angelou Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    Related Authors


    William Blake - Walt Whitman - Lord Byron - Aeschylus - William Somerville - William Congreve - W. H. Auden - Louis Aragon - Edmund Spenser - Alcaeus


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