We can’t help but celebrate the ever green Maya.
This multiple award winning poet has been in the game looooooong (yep! stressing it help drives the point home) enough to be termed an “icon”. In case you have never heard the name Maya, grab a chair and sit, lets school you, #LLA style.
Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim. Her works have been considered a defense of black culture and are widely used in schools and universities worldwide.
She has won a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her book of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie, a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1973 play Look Away, and three Grammys for her spoken word albums.
She served on two presidential committees, and was awarded the Spingarn Medal in 1994, the National Medal of Arts in 2000, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Maya was awarded over fifty honorary degrees in her lifetime.
In honor of her posthumous birthday, celebrated April 4, we have culled 15 quotes from some of her finest works. See below.
- Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
- We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
- 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.
- You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
5. You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
6. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
7. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.
8. All great achievements require time.
9. I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
10. 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.
11. How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
12. The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
13. Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
14. If someone tells you who they are, believe them.
15. I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’