81° Good Afternoon
81° Good Afternoon

Maya Angelou quotes

Maya Angelou signs copies of 'Maya Angelou: Letter

Maya Angelou signs copies of 'Maya Angelou: Letter to My Daughter' at Barnes & Noble in Union Square on October 30, 2008. Photo Credit: Gabriela Maj/Getty Images

Maya Angelou was a poet and writer, and a civil rights activist. Her talents melded, making her a potent symbol of the civil rights movement. Here are some of her inspiring quotes:

  • “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.”
  • “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”
  • “I speak to the Black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition–about what we can endure, dream, fail at and survive.”
  • “My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more intelligent and more educated than college professors.”
  • “You can only become great at something you are willing to sacrifice for.”
  • "I don’t think there’s such a thing as autobiographical fiction. If I say it happened, it happened, even if only in my mind." -The Daily Beast
  • “The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power. The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic admiration.” - "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"
  • "Events may come that will change things, but you must decide you will not be reduced by them." - @DrMayaAngelou
  • "I am grateful for everything, I stay in an attitude of gratitude." - @DrMayaAngelou
  • "I long for the time when all human history is taught as one history. I am stronger because you are stronger. I am weaker if you are weak." - @DrMayaAngelou
  • "A woman is careful with judgment, is courteous, has courage and is much given to kindness, support and respect for other women." - @DrMayaAngelou
  • "Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God." -@DrMayaAngelou


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News photos & videos