Quotes About Maya Angelou

Quotes tagged as "maya-angelou" (showing 1-16 of 16)
Maya Angelou
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

Maya Angelou
“When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”
Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
“While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.”
Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
“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.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou
“It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A pyramid of flesh with the whitefolks on the bottom, as the broad base, then the Indians with their silly tomahawks and teepees and wigwams and treaties, the Negroes with their mops and recipes and cotton sacks and spirituals sticking out of their mouths. The Dutch children should all stumble in their wooden shoes and break their necks. The French should choke to death on the Louisiana Purchase (1803) while silkworms ate all the Chinese with their stupid pigtails. As a species, we were an abomination. All of us.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou
“People whose history and future were threatened each day by extinction considered that it was only by divine intervention that they were able to live at all. I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou
“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.”
Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
“The needs of a society determine its ethics, and in the Black American ghettos the hero is that man who is offered only the crumbs from his country's table but by ingenuity and courage is able to take for himself a Lucullan feast. Hence the janitor who lives in one room but sports a robin's-egg-blue Cadillac is not laughed at but admired, and the domestic who buys forty-dollar shoes is not criticized but is appreciated. We know that they have put to use their full mental and physical powers. Each single gain feeds into the gains of the body collective.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou
“Until recently each generation found it more expedient to plead guilty to the charge of being young and ignorant, easier to take the punishment meted out by the older generation (which had itself confessed to the same crime short years before). The command to grow up at once was more bearable than the faceless horror of wavering purpose, which was youth.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou
“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.”
Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
“Soft you day, be velvet soft,
My true love approaches,
Look you bright, you dusty sun,
Array your golden coaches.

Soft you wind, be soft as silk
My true love is speaking.
Hold you birds, your silver throats,
His golden voice I'm seeking.

Come you death, in haste, do come
My shroud of black be weaving,
Quiet my heart, be deathly quiet,
My true love is leaving.”
Maya Angelou, The Complete Collected Poems

Maya Angelou entered our lives at Virago in 1984, when we first published I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. "Entered our lives" is too tame. She danced, sang, and laughed her way straight into our hearts. She brought us a best-seller, but more than that, she brought us a reminder that the human need for dignity and recognition is a gift easily given to one another, but also frighteningly easy to withhold.”
Lennie Goodings

“The kindnesses … I never forget them. And so they keep one from becoming bitter. They encourage you to be as strong, as volatile as necessary to make a well world. Those people who gave me so much, and still give me so much, have a passion about them. And they encourage the passion in me. I’m very blessed that I have a healthy temper. I can become quite angry and burning in anger, but I have never been bitter. Bitterness is a corrosive, terrible acid. It just eats you and makes you sick.”
Jeffrey M. Elliot, Conversations with Maya Angelou

Nancy Arroyo Ruffin
“Even great, best selling writers produce works that fall flat from expectations. This writing thing isn't easy and everything you produce won't be a best seller, but you must write anyway. You have to write because you love it, because it fuels you, because you can feel the stories living inside you, nudging you, prodding you, itching to get out and the only thing worse than writing it and failing is not writing it. As the late Maya Angelou once said, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

Even if your work doesn't resonate with others, it is still worth writing. And that in itself, is what's important.”
Nancy Arroyo Ruffin

“Maya Angelou had the ability to glean inspiration out of pain.”
The Prophet of Life

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