Maya Angelou 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. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
Try To Be A Rainbow In Someone's Cloud.
I Think That That's The Wisest Thing - To Prevent Illness Before We Try To Cure Something.
I Have A Feeling That I Make A Very Good Friend, And I'm A Good Mother, And A Good Sister, And A Good Citizen. I Am Involved In Life Itself - All Of It. And I Have A Lot Of Energy And A Lot Of Nerve.
You Are The Sum Total Of Everything You've Ever Seen, Heard, Eaten, Smelled, Been Told, Forgot - It's All There. Everything Influences Each Of Us, And Because Of That I Try To Make Sure That My Experiences Are Positive.
You Can't Forgive Without Loving. And I Don't Mean Sentimentality. I Don't Mean Mush. I Mean Having Enough Courage To Stand Up And Say, 'I Forgive. I'm Finished With It.'
We Can Learn To See Each Other And See Ourselves In Each Other And Recognize That Human Beings Are More Alike Than We Are Unalike.
I Would Be A Liar, A Hypocrite, Or A Fool - And I'm Not Any Of Those - To Say That I Don't Write For The Reader. I Do. But For The Reader Who Hears, Who Really Will Work At It, Going Behind What I Seem To Say. So I Write For Myself And That Reader Who Will Pay The Dues.
Don't Let The Incidents Which Take Place In Life Bring You Low. And Certainly Don't Whine. You Can Be Brought Low, That's Ok, But Don't Be Reduced By Them. Just Say, 'That's Life.'
My Life Has Been Long, And Believing That Life Loves The Liver Of It, I Have Dared To Try Many Things, Sometimes Trembling, But Daring Still.
Of Course, There Are Those Critics - New York Critics As A Rule - Who Say, 'Well, Maya Angelou Has A New Book Out And Of Course It's Good But Then She's A Natural Writer.' Those Are The Ones I Want To Grab By The Throat And Wrestle To The Floor Because It Takes Me Forever To Get It To Sing. I Work At The Language.
I Wrote Some Of The Worst Poetry West From The Mississippi River, But I Wrote. And I Finally Sometimes Got It Right.
I Work Very Hard, And I Play Very Hard. I'm Grateful For Life. And I Live It - I Believe Life Loves The Liver Of It. I Live It.
It Is Time For Parents To Teach Young People Early On That In Diversity There Is Beauty And There Is Strength.
Cooking Certain Dishes, Like Roast Pork, Reminds Me Of My Mother.
I'm Considered Wise, And Sometimes I See Myself As Knowing. Most Of The Time, I See Myself As Wanting To Know. And I See Myself As A Very Interested Person. I've Never Been Bored In My Life.
I Love A Hebrew National Hot Dog With An Ice-cold Corona - No Lime. If The Phone Rings, I Won't Answer Until I'm Done.
Until Blacks And Whites See Each Other As Brother And Sister, We Will Not Have Parity. It's Very Clear.
The Truth Is, No One Of Us Can Be Free Until Everybody Is Free.
I Don't Know How Much Longer I'll Be Around. I'll Probably Be Writing When The Lord Says, 'Maya, Maya Angelou, It's Time.'
If You Were The President Of The United States Or The Queen Of England - You Couldn't Have A Person Who Would Be More Protective Than My Mother Was For Me. Which Meant Really That I Could Dare To Do All Sorts Of Things.
Black People Comprehend The South. We Understand Its Weight. It Has Rested On Our Backs... I Knew That My Heart Would Break If Ever I Put My Foot Down On That Soil, Moist, Still, With Old Hurts. I Had To Face The Fear/loathing At Its Source Or It Would Consume Me Whole.
In All My Work, I Try To Say - 'You May Be Given A Load Of Sour Lemons, Why Not Try To Make A Dozen Lemon Meringue Pies?'
That's The Biggest Gift I Can Give Anybody: 'Wake Up, Be Aware Of Who You Are, What You're Doing And What You Can Do To Prevent Yourself From Becoming Ill.'
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.
I Speak To The Black Experience, But I Am Always Talking About The Human Condition.
When A Person Is Going Through Hell, And She Encounters Someone Who Went Through Hellish Hell And Survived, Then She Can Say, 'Mine Is Not So Bad As All That. She Came Through, And So Can I.'
For A Person Who Grew Up In The '30s And '40s In The Segregated South, With So Many Doors Closed Without Explanation To Me, Libraries And Books Said, 'Here I Am, Read Me.' Over Time I Have Learned I Am At My Best Around Books.
Hold Those Things That Tell Your History And Protect Them. During Slavery, Who Was Able To Read Or Write Or Keep Anything? The Ability To Have Somebody To Tell Your Story To Is So Important. It Says: 'I Was Here. I May Be Sold Tomorrow. But You Know I Was Here.'
I'm Just Someone Who Likes Cooking And For Whom Sharing Food Is A Form Of Expression.
I Know Some People Might Think It Odd - Unworthy Even - For Me To Have Written A Cookbook, But I Make No Apologies. The U.s. Poet Laureate Billy Collins Thought I Had Demeaned Myself By Writing Poetry For Hallmark Cards, But I Am The People's Poet So I Write For The People.
I Love To See A Young Girl Go Out And Grab The World By The Lapels.
In A Magazine, One Can Get - From Cover To Cover - 15 To 20 Different Ideas About Life And How To Live It.
All Great Achievements Require Time.
I Have A Son, Who Is My Heart. A Wonderful Young Man, Daring And Loving And Strong And Kind.
I Thank God I'm Myself And For The Life I'm Given To Live And For Friends And Lovers And Beloveds, And I Thank God For Knowing That All Those People Have Already Paid For Me.
Bitterness Is Cancer - It Eats Upon The Host. It Doesn't Do Anything To The Object Of Its Displeasure.
I Find In My Poetry And Prose The Rhythms And Imagery Of The Best - I Mean, When I'm At My Best - Of The Good Southern Black Preachers. The Lyricism Of The Spirituals And The Directness Of Gospel Songs And The Mystery Of Blues Are In My Music Or In My Poetry And Prose, Or I Missed Everything.
At One Time, You Could Sit On The Rue De La Paix In Paris Or At The Habima Theater In Tel Aviv Or In Medina And You Could See A Person Come In, Black, White, It Didn't Matter. You Said, 'That's An American' Because There's A Readiness To Smile And To Talk To People.
I Will Not Sit In A Room With Black People When The N Word Is Used. I Know It Was Meant To Belittle A Person, So I Will Not Sit There And Have That Poison Put On Me. Now A Black Person Can Say, 'Oh, You Know, I Can Use This Word Because I'm Black.'
I'm Very, Very Serious - I'm Serious Enough Not To Take Myself Too Seriously. That Means I Can Be Completely Wedded To The Moment. But When I Leave That Moment, I Want To Be Completely Wedded To The Next Moment.
Human Beings Love Poetry. They Don't Even Know It Sometimes... Whether They're The Songs Of Bono, Or The Songs Of Justin Bieber... They're Listening To Poetry.
I've Never Had A Dislike For Men. I've Been Badly Treated By Some. But I've Been Loved Greatly By Some. I Married A Lot Of Them.
A Black Person Grows Up In This Country - And In Many Places - Knowing That Racism Will Be As Familiar As Salt To The Tongue. Also, It Can Be As Dangerous As Too Much Salt. I Think That You Must Struggle For Betterment For Yourself And For Everyone.
It Is Impossible To Struggle For Civil Rights, Equal Rights For Blacks, Without Including Whites. Because Equal Rights, Fair Play, Justice, Are All Like The Air: We All Have It, Or None Of Us Has It. That Is The Truth Of It.
I Have Great Respect For The Past. If You Don't Know Where You've Come From, You Don't Know Where You're Going. I Have Respect For The Past, But I'm A Person Of The Moment. I'm Here, And I Do My Best To Be Completely Centered At The Place I'm At, Then I Go Forward To The Next Place.
If You Have Only One Smile In You Give It To The People You Love.
Don't Get Older Just To Get Wiser. If You Get Older, You Will Be Wiser, I Believe That - If You Dare. But Get Older Because It's Fun!
There's Something Which Impels Us To Show Our Inner Souls. The More Courageous We Are, The More We Succeed In Explaining What We Know.
When I Cook For My Family On Christmas, I Make Feijoada, A South American Dish Of Roasted And Smoked Meats Like Ham, Pork, Beef, Lamb, And Bacon - All Served With Black Beans And Rice. It's Festive But Different.
I've Always Written. There's A Journal Which I Kept From About 9 Years Old. The Man Who Gave It To Me Lived Across The Street From The Store And Kept It When My Grandmother's Papers Were Destroyed. I'd Written Some Essays. I Loved Poetry, Still Do. But I Really, Really Loved It Then.