Words of Wisdom From Maya Angelou

2 minute read

Dr. Maya Angelou may be gone, but her legacy lives on. She has been immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp, and now, her iconic autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is being re-released, complete with a foreword by her “daughter-friend” Oprah Winfrey. The re-release ensures that her vast wisdom will live on, touching millions of lives and countless generations to come.

  • “I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Women, that’s me.”
  • “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.”
  • “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
  • “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
  • “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
  • “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
  • “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a b—-. You’ve got to go out and kick a–.”
  • “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may tread me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
  • “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
  • “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
  • “I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory.”
  • “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.”
  • This article originally appeared on Essence.com.

    In Memoriam: Celebrating The Life of Poet Maya Angelou

    Photo of Maya Angelou
    Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. It wasn’t until 1970, when she was 41, that she became an author. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
    Photo of Maya Angelou
    Before Angelou became a published author, she was a dancer. As a young single mother she sang and danced in nightclubs and was noticed by a theater group. Angelou's role in Porgy and Bess allowed her to tour 22 countries in the 1950s.Michael Ochs Archives
    Angelou played Kunta Kinte’s grandmother in the landmark 12-hour ABC show "Roots", which aired for eight consecutive nights in 1977. Based on Alex Haley's best-selling novel, "Roots" followed 100 tumultuous years and several generations of the author's African ancestors.ABC/Getty Images
    Maya Angelou delivers poem on Bill Clinton's Inauguration Day January 20, 1993 in Washington, DC
    Angelou delivered the inaugural poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” at the swearing-in of President Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993. Angelou and Clinton both spent some of their formative years in Arkansas. Visions of America/UIG/Getty Images
    Maya Angelou
    Maya Angelou is pictured at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards, where she took home an award in the Spoken Word category for her poem "On the Pulse of Morning,” which she read for President Bill Clinton's inauguration. Angelou would go on to win two other Grammys in the same category.Moneta Sleet, Jr.—Ebony Collection/Getty Images
    US President Bill Clinton(R) congratulates poet/wr
    On December 20, 2000, President Bill Clinton, gave Angelou the National Medal of Arts, highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the U.S. government, at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. Stephen Jaffe—AFP/Getty Images
    2004 DNC - Dr. Maya Angelou
    At the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Angelou paid tribute to civil rights pioneers Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democrats for challenging the all-white state delegation in 1964. Angelou worked for Dr. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the civil rights movement.Ramin Talaie—Corbis
    Commencement speaker Angelou smiles after receiving her honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, as she greets Lehigh University President Dr. Gregory C. Farrington at Murray H. Goodman Stadium on May 23, 2005. Angelou held a lifetime professorship at Wake Forest and collected honorary degrees from around 50 schools and colleges. Harry Fisher—AP
    Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey
    Angelou and Oprah Winfrey share laughs during the last taping of the “Oprah Winfrey Show” on May 17, 2011 in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast—AP
    Barack Obama, Maya Angelou
    President Barack Obama kisses Angelou after awarding her the 2010 Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP

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