20 Powerful Quotes By Maya Angelou

Edna Owusu-Ansah May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou Quotes
Iconic American poet Maya Angelou (pictured) died at the age of 86 on Wednesday, but she will be remembered not only by Americans but the rest of the world for her immense contribution to literature. Today, even though we are saddened by the news of her loss, we know her powerful words reflected every facet of our lives. Many of her quotes have inspired us and continue to inspire us irrespective of our gender. For many of us, Angelou was such a shining example of hope, a defender of all, and, of course, a Phenomenal Woman. Here Face2Face Africa compiled twenty of her memorable quotes.

RELATED: Maya Angelou’s Great Accomplishments In Spite of Life’s Hardships Should Encourage All To Be Better

  1. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
  2. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
  3. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”
  4. “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.”
  5. “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.”
  9. “During bad circumstances, which is the human inheritance, you must decide not to be reduced. You have your humanity, and you must not allow anything to reduce that. We are obliged to know we are global citizens. Disasters remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not.”
  10. “I’m a woman phenomenally.”
  11. “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.'”
  12. “All great achievements require time.”
  13. “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.”
  14. “We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.”
  15. “All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.”
  16. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
  17. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”
  18. “The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you — Black, White, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.”
  19. “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.”
  20. “Until Blacks and Whites see each other as brother and sister, we will not have parity. It’s very clear.

SEE ALSO: Iconic Author and Poet Maya Angelou Dies at 86



Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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