Maya Angelou was an American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman. Angelou received several honors throughout her career, including two NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding literary work (nonfiction) category, in 2005 and 2009
Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. Angelou had a difficult childhood. Her parents split up when she was very young, and she and her older brother, Bailey, were sent to live with their father’s mother, Anne Henderson, in Stamps, Arkansas.
As an African American, Maya Angelou experienced firsthand racial prejudices and discrimination in Arkansas. She also suffered at the hands of a family associate around the age of 7: During a visit with her mother, Angelou was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. As vengeance for the sexual assault, Angelou’s uncles killed the boyfriend.
So traumatized by the experience, Angelou stopped talking. She returned to Arkansas and spent years as a virtual mute.
Angelou published several collections of poetry, but her most famous was 1971’s collection Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
Other famous collections of Angelou’s poetry include:
Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well (1975), which includes Angelou’s poem “Alone”
And Still I Rise (1978), which features the beloved poem “Phenomenal Woman”
Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? (1983)
I Shall Not Be Moved (1990), featuring the poem “Human Family”; Apple famously used a video of Angelou reading this poem in an advertisement at the 2016 Olympics
Even the Stars Look Lonesome (1997)
‘On the Pulse of Morning’ (1993)
One of her most famous works, Angelou wrote this poem especially for and recited at President Bill Clinton’s inaugural ceremony in January 1993.
Team inspiring life provided you with a list of 31 quotes by Maya Angelou.
31 quotes by Maya Angelou
You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
Every storm runs out of rain.
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.
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 you
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.
If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.
When you get give. When you learn teach.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Your belief and your work will speak for you.
Life loves the liver of it.
All great achievements require time.
Effective action is always unjust.
We need much less than we think we need.
Everybody is worth everything.
Achievement brings its own anticlimax.
Whining is just unbecoming.
Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
When I forgive other people, I let them go, I free them from my ignorance. And as soon as I do, I feel lighter, brighter and better.
We are only as blind as we want to be.
When I decided to speak, I had a lot to say.
Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.
I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life”.
I’ve learned that forgiving is one of the greatest gifts that I can give myself.
There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
If I am going to do the most difficult and frightening thing – dying – is it possible that I could do some difficult and impossible things that are good?
I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment.