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Maya Angelou Quotes


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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.
[Big]
 

My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.
[Always]
 

Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway.
 

Nothing will work unless you do.
[Work]
 

Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaken need for an unshakable God.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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

Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.
 

Since time is the one immaterial object which we cannot influence -- neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish -- it is an imponderably valuable gift. Each of us has a few minutes a day or a few hours a week which we could donate to an old folks home or a children's hospital ward. The elderly whose pillows we plump or whose water pitchers we refill may or may not thank us for our gift, but the gift is upholding the foundation of the universe.
 

Some critics will write 'Maya Angelou is a natural writer' - which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.
[Being]
 

Something made greater by ourselves and in turn that makes us greater.
 

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
 

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 idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
 

The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.
[Friendship]
 

The need for change bulldozed road down the center of my mind.
[Change]
 

The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.
 

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.
 

The white American man makes the white American woman maybe not superfluous but just a little kind of decoration. Not really important to turning around the wheels of the state. Well the black American woman has never been able to feel that way. No black American man at any time in our history in the United States has been able to feel that he didn't need that black woman right against him, shoulder to shoulder -- in that cotton field, on the auction block, in the ghetto, wherever.
 


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