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Quotes By Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4, 1928. She is a poet, author, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, producer, director, singer, and well known civil rights activist. Angelou is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adulthood experiences. She is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary black  literature. Who said finding good quotes was difficult? Browse our large collection and inspire yourself and others.




Courage: the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.  ~ Maya Angelou


A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.  ~ Maya Angelou


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!  ~ Maya Angelou


If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?"  ~ Maya Angelou


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.  ~ Maya Angelou


I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'.  ~ Maya Angelou


I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.  ~ Maya Angelou


Most people don't grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.  ~ Maya Angelou


When you learn, teach, when you get, give.  ~ Maya Angelou


I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.  ~ Maya Angelou


The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.  ~ Mata Angelou


Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.  ~ Maya Angelou


You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody. ~ Maya Angelou


Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.  ~ Maya Angelou


Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.  ~ Maya Angelou


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.  ~ Maya Angelou


Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.  ~ Maya Angelou


Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!  ~ Maya Angelou


If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.  ~ Maya Angelou


You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.  ~ Maya Angelou


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.  ~
Maya Angelou


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


We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.  ~ Maya Angelou


Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.  ~ Maya Angelou


Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.  ~ Maya Angelou


The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.  ~ Maya Angelou


I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.  ~ Maya Angelou


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 of you.  ~ Maya Angelou


I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.  ~ Maya Angelou


If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.  ~ Maya Angelou


My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy.  ~ Maya Angelou


I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.  ~ Maya Angelou


I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.  ~ Maya Angelou


When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe.  ~ Maya Angelou


Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.  ~ Maya Angelou


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


Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.  ~ Maya Angelou


We need much less than we think we need.  ~ Maya Angelou


All great achievements require time.  ~ Maya Angelou


Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope.  ~ Maya Angelou



The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.  ~ Maya Angelou


I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.  ~ Maya Angelou


There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.  ~ Maya Angelou


I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.  ~ Maya Angelou


Achievement brings its own anticlimax.  ~ Maya Angelou


I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.  ~ Maya Angelou


We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.  ~ Maya Angelou


Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.  ~ Maya Angelou


Nothing will work unless you do.  ~ Maya Angelou


I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh.  ~ Maya Angelou


If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed.  ~ Maya Angelou


Effective action is always unjust.  ~ Maya Angelou


There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.  ~ Maya Angelou


God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us - in the dreariest and most dreaded moments - can see a possibility of hope.  ~ Maya Angelou


The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.  ~ Maya Angelou


I try to live what I consider a "poetic existence." That means I take responsibility for the air I breathe and the space I take up. I try to be immediate, to be totally present for all my work.  ~ Maya Angelou


Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.  ~ Maya Angelou


I don't believe an 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.  ~ Maya Angelou


How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!  ~ Maya Angelou


A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.  ~
Maya Angelou


Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.  ~ Maya Angelou



There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.  ~ Maya Angelou

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