I couldn’t believe the news today when I heard that the legendary Maya Angelou died today. The famed Grammy winning novelist was 86 years-old and was not feeling well. Maya was an author, poet, actor, singer, songwriter, dancer, playwright, historian, director, civil rights activist and teacher. Many people didn’t realize she was fluent in six languages, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and West African Fanti, and English.
Maya was one of the most well know African-American writers. When Maya spoke she captivated her audiences. She wrote five autobiographical novels that inspired many including Oprah Winfrey. Maya was Oprah’s mentor. It was after watching Maya on the Oprah Show that I decided to read one of her books – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Since then I was a devoted fan. In college I recited her poem Phenomenal Woman for my Oratorical Skills class.
Like many, I have been inspired by Maya in so many ways. Whenever she spoke you stopped to think. Many of her quotes helped give me direction in life or motivated me to keep going.
Maya was simply brilliant and she will be greatly missed. Hearing of her death today saddens me. Below are some of my favorite quotes to remember Maya Angelou by.
1. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
2. Nothing will work unless you do.
3. 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.
4. Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.
5. All great achievements require time.
6. A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
7. Courage allows the successful woman to fail- and learn powerful lessons- from the failure- so that in the end, she didn’t fail at all.
8. I can be changed by what happens to me. but I refuse to be reduced by it.
9. If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
10. If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.