About Maya Angelou- The Nightingale of Black American History:
Maya Angelou born Marguerite Annie Johnson (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) was a notable American poet, singer, memoirist and civil rights activist. She is known to have challenged the role of women over the course of time.
The author explored various fields, from where she collected experiences and memories, citing each in her literary work.
Awards and Rewards:
In her writing career, Maya garnered dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees up her sleeves. Her most admirable work is etched in her seven autobiographies, narrating various aspects of her childhood and her early adulthood.
Maya Angelou, an artist whose legacy will continue forever:
Angelou’s work is highly admired by all. She has been a spokesperson for black people and women, advocating, educating and defending black culture. Her literary work revolves around themes such as racism, identity, family and travel.
Maya passed away on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86 but her legacy continues till date and shall continue forever. Let’s read some of the best quotes by Maya Angelou that are inspiring to all:
Maya Angelou on Success:
Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.
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. (My personal favourite)
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.
Maya Angelou on Love:
Love recognises no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.
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.
If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.
First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.
Maya Angelou on Hope:
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay.
Maya Angelou on Kindness:
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.
Maya Angelou on Change:
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.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
The need for change bulldozed a road down the centre of my mind.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
Maya Angelou on Self-Love:
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.
Maya Angelou on Strength and Determination:
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
Nothing will work unless you do.
We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
Nothing will work unless you do.
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!
Maya Angelou on Courage:
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?
Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
Courage – you develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100-pound weight without preparing yourself.
You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!
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.
Maya Angelou on Learning:
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
When you learn, teach, when you get, give.
The best candy shop a child can be left alone in, is the library.
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
Maya Angelou on Living Life to the fullest:
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style. (My second favourite)
Determine to live life with flair and laughter.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.
Maya Angelou on Self-realisation:
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.
My mother raised me, and then freed me.
When you know you are of worth, you don’t have to raise your voice, you don’t have to become rude, you don’t have to become vulgar; you just are. And you are like the sky is, as the air is, the same way water is wet. It doesn’t have to protest.
You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.
Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.
Maya Angelou on Patience:
Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.
All great achievements require time.
Maya Angelou on her Life:
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats – maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats – but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be.
I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.
I was told many years ago by my grandmother who raised me: If somebody puts you on a road and you don’t feel comfortable on it and you look ahead and you don’t like the destination and you look behind and you don’t want to return to that place, step off the road.
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.
I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.
Maya Angelou on Hard Work:
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.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
Maya Angelou on Art & Creativity:
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
Maya Angelou on Forgiveness:
I’ve learned that forgiving is one of the greatest gifts that I can give myself.
You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self.
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
To grow up is to stop putting blame on parents.
Maya Angelou on Hate:
Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
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.
Maya Angelou on Feminism:
I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.
A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.
A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretence and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.
How important it is for us to recognise and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
Stepping onto a brand new path is difficult, but not more than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.
Maya Angelou on Truth & Honesty:
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.
There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.
Maya Angelou on Self Respect
I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.
If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.
Maya Angelou on Ignorance:
We are only as blind as we want to be.
Whining is just unbecoming.
Maya Angelou on Dreams and Passion:
I believe that every person is born with talent.
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.
Maya Angelou on Anger:
You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
Maya Angelou on Recreating Herself:
I created myself. I have taught myself so much.
Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou on Happiness:
I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.
When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe.
Maya Angelou on Important Lessons of Life:
Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
Maya Angelou on Greed:
We need much less than we think we need.
There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.
Maya Angelou on Faith:
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Faith is the evidence of the unseen.
Maya Angelou on History & Diversity:
It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their colour.
Maya Angelou on Following your Heart:
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humour to lighten the burden of your tender heart.