In celebration of African American history month—hare some of Maya Angelou’s quotes. They will inspire you to think, feel, and want to view your life on a different level.

Maya Angelou

On attitude, womanhood, control and courage

On attitude: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

On womanhood: “I am a Woman/Phenomenally./Phenomenal Woman,/that’s me.”

On control: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

On courage: “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.”

On making an impression: “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.”

On possibilities: “Lift up your hearts Each new hour holds new chances For new beginnings.” 

On potential: “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.” 

On readiness: “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.”

On freedom: “The caged bird sings with a fearful trill/of things unknown but longed for still/and his tune is heard on the distant hill/for the caged birds sings of freedom.”

On forgiveness: “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

On reciprocity: “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

On caring, positivity, And jealousy

On caring for others: “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”

On spreading positivity: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

On jealousy: “It must be remembered, however, that jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savour, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.”

On persistence: “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”

On working: “I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.”

On our influences: “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.”

On looking inward: “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”

On Maya Angelou’s life mission: “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.”


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"Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep."

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