Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928) is an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement

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A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
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.
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.
Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.
Education helps one case cease being intimidated by strange situations.
For Africa to me is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
I answer the heroic question 'Death, where is thy sting' with 'It is here in my heart and mind and memories.'
I believe that every person is born with talent.
I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water.
I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
I know why the caged bird sings.
If someone tells you who they are, believe them.
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.
If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.
If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning Good morning at total strangers.
In order to be profoundly dishonest, a person must have one of two qualities either he is unscrupulously ambitious, or he is unswervingly egocentric.
Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told, 'I'm with you kid. Let's go.'
Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
My life has been one great big joke A dance that's walked A song that's spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke When I think about myself.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.
Something made greater by ourselves and in turn that makes us greater.
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.
The need for change bulldozed road down the center of my mind.
The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.
There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.
There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
We really are 15 countries, and it's really remarkable that each of us thinks we represent the real America. The Midwesterner in Kansas, the black American in Durham -- both are certain they are the real American.
When you learn, teach. When you get, give.
While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man's humanity to man.
Without courage you cannot practice any of the other virtues.
You may encounter defeats, but you must not be defeated.

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