Angelou died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Wednesday (May 28, 2014). The author was active on social media, often sharing words or wisdom and knowledge to her 400K+ followers on twitter. Her final tweet says it all…
Maya Angelou was known for her inspiring words that shed light onto the beauty and injustices of the world. USA TODAY recently listed 13 of her best quotes.
1. “I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory.”
2. “I am a Woman
3. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
4. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
5. “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.”
6. “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.”
8. “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.”
9. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
10. “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.”
11. “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.”
12. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
13. “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
One of Angelou’s most praised books was “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
The memoir bore witness to the brutality of a Jim Crow South, portraying racism in stark language. Readers learned of the life of Marguerite Ann Johnson (Angelou’s birth name) up to the age of 16: how she was abandoned by her parents and raped by her mother’s boyfriend. She was homeless and became a teen mother.
Its publication was both daring and historic given the era of its debut in 1969.
Angelou was born Marguerite Ann Johnson in St. Louis, Mo. Angelou attended high school in San Francisco, and studied dance and drama. At the age of 14, she dropped out of school and became the city’s first African-American, female street car conductor. She later graduated and gave birth to her son, Guy, soon after.
Angelou was also one of the first black female film directors. Her work on Broadway has been nominated for Tony Awards. Before making it big, the 6-foot-tall wordsmith also worked as a cook and sang with a traveling road show.
“Look where we’ve all come from … coming out of darkness, moving toward the light,” she once said. “It is a long journey, but a sweet one, bittersweet.”
R.I.P. Maya Angelou