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Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014) was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist.

1862. How wonderful it is to be an American. We have known the best of times and the worst of times.
1863. Writing and cookery are just two different means of communication.
1864. Effective action is always unjust.
1865. 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.
1866. 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.
1867. The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.
1868. History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
1774. The hope, the hope that lives in the breast of the black American, is just so tremendous that it overwhelms me sometimes.
1775. 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.
1776. While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man's humanity to man.
1777. It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
1778. 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.'
1779. I think music is one of the hero / sheroes of the African-American existence.
1697. 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.
1698. Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
1699. If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
1700. How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
1701. 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.
1702. During bad circumstances, which is the human inheritance, you must decide not to be reduced. You have your humanity, and you must not allow anything to reduce that. We are obliged to know we are global citizens. Disasters remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not.
1619. All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.
1620. The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you - black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.
1621. I refuse to allow any man-made differences to separate me from any other human beings.
1622. 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.
1623. 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.
1577. Until blacks and whites see each other as brother and sister, we will not have parity. It's very clear.
1578. 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.
1579. 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.
1580. 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.
1581. As far as I knew white women were never lonely, except in books. White men adored them, Black men desired them and Black women worked for them.
1544. Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
1545. Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.
1546. 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.'
1547. 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.
1548. If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.
1549. 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.
1427. Home is a refuge, not only from the world but a refuge from my worries, my terrible concerns. I like beautiful things around me. I like to be beautiful because it delights my eyes and my soul is lifted up.
1428. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
1429. I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.
1430. I could fall in love with a sumo wrestler if he told stories and made me laugh. Obviously, it would be easier if someone was African-American and lived next door and went to the same church. Because then I wouldn't have to translate.
1431. The loss of young first love is so painful that it borders on the ludicrous.
1432. Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.
1327. Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world but it has not solved one yet.
1328. Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
1329. My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done, to try and love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
1330. Ask for what you want, and be prepared to get it.
1331. There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.
1332. Having courage does not mean we are unafraid.
1333. 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.
1334. There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.
1165. I’m always disappointed when people don’t live up to their potential. I know that a number of people look down on themselves and consequently on everybody who looks like them. But that, too, can change.
1166. If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
1167. Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
1168. If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.
1169. If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
1170. My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.
744. Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
745. 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.
746. Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.
747. We are only as blind as we want to be.
748. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.
749. All great achievements require time.
750. The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.
751. Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay.

305. 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.
306. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
307. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.
308. If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.
309. Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
310. 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.
311. I believe that every person is born with talent.
115. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
116. When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
117. We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
118. 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. "
119. 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.
120. A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim.
121. It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.