My favorite Maya Angelou quotes and her brief history

MAYA ANGELOU, one of America’s best-loved authors, died on May 28th. She was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1928, on the cusp of the Great Depression. Her parents separated when she was very young, and at the age of three she was sent to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, where segregation was rigidly enforced. At seven she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend, a trauma that silenced her for over five years. She said that she did not speak another word until she was 13.

This is the kind of beginning that could break a life, but Ms Angelou was never broken. A woman with an astonishing array of accomplishments—she was a singer and a dancer who toured Europe with a production of “Porgy and Bess” in the 1950s, and a talented chef whose cookbooks are treasured as much as any of her other writing—it is hard to overstate her place in American cultural life. President Barack Obama described her as “one of the brightest lights of our time”, calling her “a brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman”.

The landscape of gender and racial politics that Ms Angelou inhabited was too often a place of bitterness and division, even among those with the same goals. But Ms Angelou, who was as important to the American civil-rights movement as she was to feminism, believed passionately in unity. She would often quote Terence, a Roman playwright who began life as a slave from North Africa: “I am a human being; nothing that is human is alien to me.” In Ghana in the early 1960s she met Malcolm X; back in the United States she worked with him to build his Organisation of Afro-American Unity. After his assassination that organisation dissolved, and she began to work with Martin Luther King, Jr, who appointed her northern co-ordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil-rights organisation that grew out of the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott of 1957. King was assassinated on her birthday; her friend and fellow writer, James Baldwin, broke the news to her.
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“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

“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”
― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

“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 someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
― 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

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
― Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou

“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
― Maya Angelou

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
― 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

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”
― Maya Angelou

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
― 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






















About cknaija
This entry was posted in Inspirational, Reflection, speech and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My favorite Maya Angelou quotes and her brief history

  1. Pingback: Ck’s recommended posts part 2 | cknaija's Blog

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