Maya Angelou was one of America’s most prominent and celebrated poets and authors.
Although she’s best known for her poetry and storytelling, she was also a memoirist, essayist, educator, stage and screen producer, singer, dancer, and civil rights activist. She was one of the most prominent women in the Civil Rights Movement and she even got the chance to work with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
This legendary and inspirational figure received dozens of awards and over 50 honorary degrees. In 2000, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts, and in 2010, President Barack Obama awarded her one of the country’s highest honors – the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Angelou is also known for her autobiographies in which she depicts her childhood and adult experiences. Her first autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings brought her international recognition.
Angelou was a fierce advocate for women and people of color, but also for anyone who wanted to do good deeds and contribute to world justice and peace.
She passed in 2014, at the age of 86. She left behind many powerful words of wisdom that transcend race and gender and that will be cherished for many years to come.
In what follows, we’ve presented 20 of the most profound and inspirational Maya Angelou quotes. Enjoy!
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
“If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”
“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.”
“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.”
“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
“I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.”
“All great achievements require time.”
“If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.”
“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.”
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
“We need much less than we think we need.”
“Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”
Riley Cooper is a professional writer who writes informative and creative articles on topics related to various fields of study. Written with love and enthusiasm, her articles inspire readers to broaden their knowledge of the world, think and get ready to act.