Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou ( April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.

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Had I not had my grandmother who dared to be my rainbow in the clouds, I would have been just another sexually abused barefoot black girl on the roads of Arkansas.

I believe talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it. You can plug into it and light up a lamp, keep a heart pump going, light a cathedral, or you can electrocute a person with it. Electricity will do all that.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has the one that must be satisfied if there is going to be hope, and a hope of wholeness is the unshaken need for an unshakable God.

Achievement brings its own anticlimax.

A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications. Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent.

There is something more - the spirit or the soul. I think that that quality encourages our courtesy and care and our minds. And mercy and identity.

Those of us who have gathered here... we owe something from this minute on so this gathering is not just another footnote on the pages of history.

We need to haunt the house of history and listen anew to the ancestors' wisdom.

When a man tells you who he is... believe him.

I don't ever feel I have no help. I've had rainbows in my clouds. And the thing to do it seems to me is to prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud.

I said 'Don't worry about it - I know our culture.'

You did then what you knew how to do, and when you knew better you did better.

Something made greater by ourselves and in turn that makes us greater.

All of childhood's unanswered questions must finally be passed back to the town and answered there. Heroes and bogey men values and dislikes are first encountered and labeled in that early environment. In later years they change faces places and maybe races tactics intensities and goals but beneath those penetrable masks they wear forever the stocking-capped faces of childhood.

She was a sister-friend to me, we called each other 'children sisters.' She was a great wife, obviously, and a wonderful mother, and a great woman, a great American. When I think of great Americans, she's one of the people I think of.

I know you very well and I know you need a good English teacher.

Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.

He loved her... she can be talking to me about regular things, but when she mentions Martin her voice always falls a little bit and you can sense the intimacy... The sweetness of that relationship was always evident.

I am overwhelmed by the grace and persistence of my people.

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