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Maya Angelou Quotes (173 Quotes)


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  • We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
    (Maya Angelou)

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

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

  • 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)

  • 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.
    (Maya Angelou)


  • 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.
    (Maya Angelou)

  • 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)

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

  • 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.
    (Maya Angelou)

  • When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
    (Maya Angelou)

  • 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.
    (Maya Angelou)

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

  • 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.
    (Maya Angelou)

  • 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.
    (Maya Angelou)

  • Still I rise....
    (Maya Angelou)


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