150+ Maya Angelou Quotes: Inspiring Lines on Love, Life, and Resilience
Maya Angelou Quotes are a testament to the wisdom and strength of this iconic figure. As a civil rights activist, author, and poet, Angelou’s words have inspired countless individuals worldwide.
From her powerful memoirs to her poignant poetry, Angelou’s words are a source of inspiration and motivation for anyone seeking to make a positive impact in the world. In this article, we have compiled some of the most memorable and inspiring Maya Angelou quotes that will inspire and motivate you.
137 Best Maya Angelou Quotes to Live By
Check out these timeless quotes by Maya Angelou that’ll inspire you to love and life to the fullest:
- A black person grows up in this country and in many places knowing that racism will be as familiar as salt to the tongue. Also, it can be as dangerous as too much salt. I think that you must struggle for betterment for yourself and for everyone.
- A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.
- Achievement brings its own anticlimax.
- All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.
- All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.
- All of us knows, not what is expedient, not what is going to make us popular, not what the policy is, or the company policy but in truth each of us knows what is the right thing to do. And that’s how I am guided.
- Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
- At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself.
- At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.
- At one time in my life, from the time I was seven until I was about 13, I didn’t speak. I only spoke to my brother. The reason I didn’t speak: I had been molested, and I told the name of the molester to my brother who told it to the family.
- Autobiography is awfully seductive; it’s wonderful. Once I got into it, I realized I was following a tradition established by Frederick Douglass the slave narrative speaking in the firstperson singular, talking about the firstperson plural, always saying ‘I,’ meaning ‘we.’
- Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
- Don’t get older just to get wiser. If you get older, you will be wiser, I believe that if you dare. But get older because it’s fun!
- Easy reading is damn hard writing. But if it’s right, it’s easy. It’s the other way round, too. If it’s slovenly written, then it’s hard to read. It doesn’t give the reader what the careful writer can give the reader.
- Eating is so intimate. It’s very sensual. When you invite someone to sit at your table and you want to cook for them, you’re inviting a person into your life.
- Effective action is always unjust.
- Elimination of illiteracy is as serious an issue to our history as the abolition of slavery.
- Everyone has at least one story, and each of us is funny if we admit it. You have to admit you’re the funniest person you’ve ever heard of.
- 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.
- Growing up, I decided, a long time ago, I wouldn’t accept any manmade differences between human beings, differences made at somebody else’s insistence or someone else’s whim or convenience.
- Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
- History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
- How wonderful it is to be an American. We have known the best of times and the worst of times.
- Human beings love poetry. They don’t even know it sometimes… whether they’re the songs of Bono, or the songs of Justin Bieber… they’re listening to poetry.
- I admire people who dare to take the language, English, and understand it and understand the melody.
- I always knew from that moment, from the time I found myself at home in that little segregated library in the South, all the way up until I walked up the steps of the New York City library, I always felt, in any town, if I can get to a library, I’ll be OK. It really helped me as a child, and that never left me.
- I am never proud to participate in violence, yet I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed.
- I believe that every person is born with talent.
- I created myself. I have taught myself so much.
- I did work in a strip club, but I didn’t strip. I danced, and I became very popular.
- 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.
- I got my own back.
- I have a son, who is my heart. A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind.
- I keep a hotel room in my town, although I have a large house. And I go there at about 5:30 in the morning, and I start working. And I don’t allow anybody to come in that room. I work on yellow pads and with ballpoint pens. I keep a Bible, a thesaurus, a dictionary, and a bottle of sherry. I stay there until midday.
- I know that I’m not the easiest person to live with. The challenge I put on myself is so great that the person I live with feels himself challenged. I bring a lot to bear, and I don’t know how not to.
- I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.
- I like to speak on matters which matter to human beings, and almost everything matters to human beings.
- I liked to write from the time I was about 12 or 13. I loved to read. And since I only spoke to my brother, I would write down my thoughts. And I think I wrote some of the worst poetry west of the Rockies. But by the time I was in my 20s, I found myself writing little essays and more poetry writing at writing.
- I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.
- I love the song ‘I Hope You Dance’ by Lee Ann Womack. I was going to write that song, but someone beat me to it.
- I love wisdom. And you can never be great at anything unless you love it. Not be in love with it, but love the thing, admire the thing. And it seems that if you love the thing, and you don’t just want to possess it, it will find you.
- I never expected anyone to take care of me, but in my wildest dreams and juvenile yearnings, I wanted the house with the picket fence from June Allyson movies. I knew that was yearning like one yearns to fly.
- I never had that feeling that I had to carry the weight of somebody’s ignorance around with me. And that was true for racists who wanted to use the ‘n’ word when talking about me or about my people, or the stupidity of people who really wanted to belittle other folks because they weren’t pretty or they weren’t rich or they weren’t clever.
- I promised myself that I would write as well as I can, tell the truth, not to tell everything I know, but to make sure that everything I tell is true, as I understand it. And to use the eloquence which my language affords me.
- I read the Bible to myself; I’ll take any translation, any edition, and read it aloud, just to hear the language, hear the rhythm, and remind myself how beautiful English is.
- I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.
- I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition.
- I think a number of the leaders are, whether you like it or not, in the hiphop generation. And when they understand enough, they’ll do wonders. I count on them.
- I think I have had so much blessing I’ve had my brother, who was brilliant I think my family came closest to making a genius when they made my brother Bailey was just all of that. He loved me.
- I think that that’s the wisest thing to prevent illness before we try to cure something.
- I was married a few times, and one of my husbands was jealous of me writing.
- I was very blessed to have family and friends, but particularly family, who told me I was not only all right, I was just right, so I believe that my brain is a good one, and it’s lasting me very well.
- I wasn’t a pretty girl. I was six feet tall at 15, you know.
- I will not sit in a room with black people when the N word is used. I know it was meant to belittle a person, so I will not sit there and have that poison put on me. Now a black person can say, ‘Oh, you know, I can use this word because I’m black.’
- I would be a liar, a hypocrite, or a fool and I’m not any of those to say that I don’t write for the reader. I do. But for the reader who hears, who really will work at it, going behind what I seem to say. So I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues.
- I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter.
- I’m just like you I want to be a good human being. I’m doing my best, and I’m working at it. And I’m trying to be a Christian. I’m always amazed when people walk up to me and say, ‘I’m a Christian.’ I always think, ‘Already? You’ve already got it?’ I’m working at it. And at my age, I’ll still be working at it at 96.
- I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.
- I’m very, very serious I’m serious enough not to take myself too seriously. That means I can be completely wedded to the moment. But when I leave that moment, I want to be completely wedded to the next moment.
- I’ve still not written as well as I want to. I want to write so that the reader in Des Moines, Iowa, in Kowloon, China, in Cape Town, South Africa, can say, ‘You know, that’s the truth. I wasn’t there, and I wasn’t a sixfoot black girl, but that’s the truth.’
- If I’m the people’s poet, then I ought to be in people’s hands and, I hope, in their heart.
- If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
- If we accept being talked to any kind of a way, then we are telling ourselves we are not quite worth the best. And if we have the effrontery to talk to anybody with less than courtesy, we tell ourselves and the world we are not very intelligent.
- If we don’t plant the right things, we will reap the wrong things. It goes without saying. And you don’t have to be, you know, a brilliant biochemist and you don’t have to have an IQ of 150. Just common sense tells you to be kind, ninny, fool. Be kind.
- If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
- 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.
- If you will have a person enslaved, the first thing you must do is convince yourself that the person is subhuman. The second thing you have to do is convince your allies so you’ll have some help, and the third and probably unkindest cut of all is to convince that person that he or she is subhuman and deserves it.
- If you’re a human being, you can attempt to do what other human beings have done. We don’t understand talent any more than we understand electricity.
- If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.
- If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.
- In a magazine, one can get from cover to cover 15 to 20 different ideas about life and how to live it.
- In all my work, I try to say ‘You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?’
- In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be. Human beings are more alike than unalike.
- In so many ways, segregation shaped me, and education liberated me.
- Independence is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more.
- Information helps you to see that you’re not alone. That there’s somebody in Mississippi and somebody in Tokyo who all have wept, who’ve all longed and lost, who’ve all been happy. So the library helps you to see, not only that you are not alone, but that you’re not really any different from everyone else.
- It is a nofail, incontrovertible reality: If you get, give. If you learn, teach. You can’t do anything with that except do it.
- It is impossible to struggle for civil rights, equal rights for blacks, without including whites. Because equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: we all have it, or none of us has it. That is the truth of it.
- It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
- It’s good to remember that in crises, natural crises, human beings forget for awhile their ignorances, their biases, their prejudices. For a little while, neighbors help neighbors and strangers help strangers.
- It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself: to forgive. Forgive everybody.
- It’s still scary every time I go back to the past. Each morning, my heart catches. When I get there, I remember how the light was, where the draft was coming from, what odors were in the air. When I write, I get all the weeping out.
- It’s very important to know the neighbor next door and the people down the street and the people in another race.
- Most people don’t grow up. It’s too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. That’s the truth of it. They honor their credit cards, they find parking spaces, they marry, they have the nerve to have children, but they don’t grow up.
- Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
- I’m grateful to intelligent people. That doesn’t mean educated. That doesn’t mean intellectual. I mean really intelligent. What black old people used to call ‘mother wit’ means intelligence that you had in your mother’s womb. That’s what you rely on. You know what’s right to do.
- My grandmother took me to church on Sunday all day long, every Sunday into the night. Then Monday evening was the missionary meeting. Tuesday evening was usher board meeting. Wednesday evening was prayer meeting. Thursday evening was visit the sick. Friday evening was choir practice. I mean, and at all those gatherings, we sang.
- My greatest blessing has been the birth of my son. My next greatest blessing has been my ability to turn people into children of mine.
- 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.
- My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
- My mom was a terrible parent of young children. And thank God I thank God every time I think of it I was sent to my paternal grandmother. Ah, but my mother was a great parent of a young adult.
- Of course, there are those critics New York critics as a rule who say, ‘Well, has a new book out and of course it’s good but then she’s a natural writer.’ Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language.
- On Saturday afternoons when all the things are done in the house and there’s no real work to be done, I play Bach and Chopin and turn it up real loudly and get a good bottle of chardonnay and sit out on my deck and look out at the garden.
- Once you appreciate one of your blessings, one of your senses, your sense of hearing, then you begin to respect the sense of seeing and touching and tasting, you learn to respect all the senses.
- Our stories come from our lives and from the playwright’s pen, the mind of the actor, the roles we create, the artistry of life itself and the quest for peace.
- People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
- Politicians must set their aims for the high ground and according to our various leanings, Democratic, Republican, Independent, we will follow. Politicians must be told if they continue to sink into the mud of obscenity, they will proceed alone.
- Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.
- Selfpity in its early stage is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.
- Shakespeare I was very influenced still am by Shakespeare. I couldn’t believe that a white man in the 16th century could so know my heart.
- Somehow, we have come to the erroneous belief that we are all but flesh, blood, and bones, and that’s all. So we direct our values to material things.
- That’s the biggest gift I can give anybody: ‘Wake up, be aware of who you are, what you’re doing and what you can do to prevent yourself from becoming ill.’
- The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
- The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.
- The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerance. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors, and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.
- The hope, the hope that lives in the breast of the black American, is just so tremendous that it overwhelms me sometimes.
- The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
- The loss of young first love is so painful that it borders on the ludicrous.
- The love of the family, the love of one person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.
- The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.
- The most important thing I can tell you about aging is this: If you really feel that you want to have an offtheshoulder blouse and some big beads and thong sandals and a dirndl skirt and a magnolia in your hair, do it. Even if you’re wrinkled.
- The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.
- The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.
- The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.
- There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.
- There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
- There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.
- There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.
- Until blacks and whites see each other as brother and sister, we will not have parity. It’s very clear.
- 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.
- We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.
- We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That’s why we paint, that’s why we dare to love someone because we have the impulse to explain who we are.
- What humility does for one is it reminds us that there are people before me. I have already been paid for. And what I need to do is prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who has yet to come but who may be here and needs me.
- What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness.
- 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.
- When I cook for my family on Christmas, I make feijoada, a South American dish of roasted and smoked meats like ham, pork, beef, lamb, and bacon all served with black beans and rice. It’s festive but different.
- When I was 8 years old I became a mute and was a mute until I was 13, and I thought of my whole body as an ear, so I can go into a crowd and sit still and absorb all sound. That talent or ability has lasted and served me until today.
- When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
- When the human race neglects its weaker members, when the family neglects its weakest one it’s the first blow in a suicidal movement. I see the neglect in cities around the country, in poor white children in West Virginia and Virginia and Kentucky in the big cities, too, for that matter.
- Whenever I want to laugh, I read a wonderful book, ‘Children’s Letters to God.’ You can open it anywhere. One I read recently said, ‘Dear God, thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.’
- Whenever I’m around some who is modest, I think, ‘Run like hell and all of fire.’ You don’t want modesty, you want humility.
- While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.
- Won’t it be wonderful when black history and native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.
- Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
- 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.’
5 Maya Angelou Inspirational Quotes
Here are some Maya Angelou inspirational quotes to help navigate life:
- As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.
- At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself.
- Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
- Don’t let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don’t whine. You can be brought low, that’s OK, but don’t be reduced by them. Just say, ‘That’s life.’
- Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. We come from the Creator with creativity. I think that each one of us is born with creativity.
8 Maya Angelou Quotes About Love
Check these beautiful Maya Angelou quotes on love:
- Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.
- I know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all.
- If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.
- In the flush of love’s light, we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.
- Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
- Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.
- Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.
- My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
5 Maya Angelou Quotes About Women
Here are some empowering Maya Angelou quotes about women:
- A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.
- I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.
- I’m interested in women’s health because I’m a woman. I’d be a darn fool not to be on my own side.
- The sadness of the women’s movement is that they don’t allow the necessity of love. See, I don’t personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.
- Encouragement to all women is let us try to offer help before we have to offer therapy. That is to say, let’s see if we can’t prevent being ill by trying to offer a love of prevention before illness.
7 Maya Angelou Quotes on Life
Check these thought-provoking Maya Angelou quotes on life:
- I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.
- I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.
- If you want what you’re saying heard, then take your time and say it so that the listener will actually hear it. You might save somebody’s life. Your own, first.
- Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: ‘I’m with you kid. Let’s go.’
- Modesty is a learned affectation. And as soon as life slams the modest person against the wall, that modesty drops.
- My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring still.
- No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
5 Courage Maya Angelou Quotes
Here are some memorable quotes on courage by Maya Angelou:
- 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.
- You develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100pound weight without preparing yourself.
- I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.
- 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.
- You have to develop ways so that you can take up for yourself, and then you take up for someone else. And so sooner or later, you have enough courage to really stand up for the human race and say, ‘I’m a representative.’
5 Maya Angelou Motivational Quotes
These Maya Angelou motivational quotes will help you keep going in trying times:
- 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.
- You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
- You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.
- I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory.
- I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
5 Maya Angelou Feminist Quotes
Here are some profound quotes on feminism by Maya Angelou that teach us the significance of equality and empowerment:
- How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and sheroes!
- I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.
- Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.
- When a person is going through hell, and she encounters someone who went through hellish hell and survived, then she can say, ‘Mine is not so bad as all that. She came through, and so can I.
- Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.
3 Resilience Quotes Maya Angelou
Here are a few quotes on resilience by Maya Angelou:
- All great achievements require time.
- I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going. I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment. I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place.
- I know that when I pray, something wonderful happens. Not just to the person or persons for whom I’m praying, but also something wonderful happens to me. I’m grateful that I’m heard.
5 Maya Angelou Quotes on Mothers
These quotes by Maya Angelou on mothers capture the essence of motherhood ever so beautifully:
- She was our mother and belonged to us. She was never mentioned to anyone because we simply didn’t have enough of her to share.
- Mother’s beauty made her powerful and her power made her unflinchingly honest.
- I really saw clearly, and for the first time, why a mother is really important. Not just because she feeds and also loves and cuddles and even mollycoddles a child, but because in an interesting and maybe an eerie and unworldly way, she stands in the gap. She stands between the unknown and the known.
- I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.
- My mother’s gifts of courage to me were both large and small. The latter are woven so subtly into the fabric of my psyche that I can hardly distinguish where she stops and I begin.
4 Success Maya Angelou Quotes
Check these Maya Angelou quotes on success that’ll motivate you to hold on to what matters:
- Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.
- Nothing will work unless you do.
- The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.
- We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay and rise!
Who Was Maya Angelou?
Maya Angelou was a celebrated American poet, author, and civil rights activist. Born in 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, Angelou had a difficult childhood and young adulthood. Still, she eventually found her voice as a writer and became one of the most influential figures in contemporary literature. She is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” as well as numerous poetry collections and essays.
What Is Maya Angelou’s Real Name?
Maya Angelou’s real name is Marguerite Annie Johnson.
How Many Times Did Maya Angelou Get Married?
Maya Angelou was married three times in her life. Her first marriage was to Greek carpenter Tosh Angelos (1949-52), her second marriage was to South African activist Vusumzi L. Make (1960-63), and her third marriage was to carpenter Paul du Feu (1973-80).
Did Maya Angelou Have Kids?
Yes, Maya Angelou had one child, a son named Clyde “Guy” Johnson.
What Themes Does Maya Angelou Explore in Her Writing?
Maya Angelou wrote extensively about identity, race, and social justice themes, drawing heavily on her experiences as a black woman in America. She also wrote about the importance of education, self-acceptance, and the power of the human spirit. Angelou’s writing is often deeply personal and reflective, but it also speaks to universal human experiences and struggles.
What Awards and Accolades Did Maya Angelou Receive during Her Lifetime?
Maya Angelou received numerous awards and accolades throughout her career. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie,” and she won three Grammy Awards for her spoken word recordings. In 1993, she was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.
What Is Maya Angelou’s Most Famous Work?
Maya Angelou’s most famous work is her series of seven autobiographies, chronicling her life from childhood to adulthood. The first book in the series, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” is widely considered her masterpiece and has been translated into numerous languages. It tells the story of Angelou’s childhood and young adulthood and explores themes of race, identity, and the human spirit.
What Challenges Did Maya Angelou Face in Her Life?
Maya Angelou faced many challenges throughout her life, including poverty, racism, and abuse. She was raised in poverty in the South during the Great Depression and experienced firsthand the segregation and discrimination faced by African Americans in the United States. As a child, Angelou was raped by her mother’s boyfriend and later became mute for several years due to the trauma. Despite these challenges, she overcame adversity and became a celebrated writer and public figure.
How Did Maya Angelou’s Writing Career Begin?
Maya Angelou’s writing career began in the 1950s when she was working as a civil rights activist. She also joined the Harlem Writer’s Guild at that time. She wrote several plays and television scripts and published her first volume of poetry, “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie,” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Angelou’s writing career skyrocketed in 1970 with the publication of her first autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which became a bestseller and established her as a prominent literary figure.
What Other Activities Were Maya Angelou Involved in Besides Writing?
Maya Angelou was a multi-talented individual engaged in numerous activities besides writing. She was a singer, dancer, and actor and appeared in several films, television shows, and stage productions. Angelou was also a professor and taught creative writing and American studies at several universities. In addition to her artistic pursuits, she was active in social and political causes and worked as a civil rights activist and human rights advocate.
What Impact Has Maya Angelou Had on Literature and Culture?
Maya Angelou has had a significant impact on literature and culture, both in the United States and around the world. She is known for her powerful and poignant writing, which explores identity, race, and social justice themes. Angelou’s work has inspired and influenced countless writers and readers and has been recognized as a key figure in contemporary literature. In addition to her writing, Angelou has also made major contributions to the civil rights movement and the broader fight for social justice.
Is Maya Angelou Still Alive?
Maya Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014, at 86. She left behind a legacy as a celebrated writer and public figure, and her work continues to inspire and influence people around the world.
Why Did Maya Angelou Change Her Name?
In 1952, Maya Angelou married a Greek sailor named Anastasios Angelopoulos. Maya Angelou adopted her professional name when she began her career as a nightclub singer by combining her childhood nickname with a form of her husband’s name. Even though the marriage did not last, her performing career was thriving.
Why Did Maya Angelou Stop Speaking?
After being raped at the age of eight, Maya Angelou confided in her brother about the incident. When she later learned that an uncle had killed her attacker, she believed that her words had caused the man’s death. As a result, she became mute for five years out of shame.
What Caused Maya Angelou to Speak Again?
Maya Angelou began to speak again at the age of 13 when she and her brother rejoined their mother in San Francisco. At this time, she began to find her voice as a writer and performer and eventually became one of the most influential figures in contemporary literature.
What Did Barack Obama Say about Maya Angelou?
Barack Obama said, “Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things – an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer, and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller – and her greatest stories were true.”
Was Maya Angelou Rich?
Maya Angelou was a successful and well-respected writer, performer, and public figure with a net worth of $10 million at the time of her death in 2014. She earned income from her numerous books, poetry collections, spoken word recordings, and performances and appearances as an actress and public speaker.
How Many Poems Did Maya Angelou Write?
Maya Angelou wrote a total of 167 poems throughout her career. Angelou’s poems were widely anthologized and translated into numerous languages, and they have inspired and influenced countless readers around the world.