Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928) is an American autobiographer and poet who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer” by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adulthood experiences. The first, best-known, and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), focuses on the first seventeen years of her life, brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award. Angelou has been highly honored for her body of work, including being awarded over 30 honorary degrees and the nomination of a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie.
All great achievements require time.
All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.
At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
I believe that every person is born with talent.
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
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.
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
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.
Nothing will work unless you do.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.
Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.
The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.
We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
Her website : http://mayaangelou.com/