Maya Angelou Quotes (173 Quotes)


    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.

    The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.

    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.

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

    I know you very well, and I know you need a good English teacher.

    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.

    Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead and . . . if the future road looms ominous or unpromising . . . then we need to gather our reslove and . . . step off . . . into another direction.

    Talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it. You can plug into it and light up a lamp, keep a heart pump going, light a cathedral, or you can electrocute a person with it.

    For Africa to me... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.

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

    I don't believe the accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings. Gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.


    Related Authors


    William Wordsworth - William Butler Yeats - Ralph Waldo Emerson - Rainer Maria Rilke - Novalis - Max Jacob - Louis Aragon - Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Edward Young - Alcaeus


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