Quotes by Maya Angelou

Facebook Twitter Google Digg Reddit LinkedIn Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. more...

Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, 'Uh oh, they're going to find out now. I've run a game on everybody and they're going to find me out. more...

Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time. more...

Black women have not historically stood in the pulpit, but that doesn't undermine the fact that they built the churches and maintain the pulpits. more...

We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives. more...

It's the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I'm a woman Phenomenally. more...

First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love. more...

I know, that since life is our most precious gift, and as far as we can be absolutely certain, it's given to us to live but once, let us so live we will not regret years of useless virtue, and inertia, and timidity, and ignorance, and in our last moments we can say: 'All my life, all my conscious energies, have been dedicated to the most noble cause in the world, the liberation of the human mind and spirit - beginning with my own'. more...

If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. more...

Creativity or talent, like electricity, is something I don't understand but something I'm able to harness and use. While electricity remains a mystery, I know I can plug into it and light up a cathedral or a synagogue or an operating room and use it to help save a life. Or I can use it to electrocute someone. Like electricity, creativity makes no judgment. I can use it productively or destructively. The important thing is to use it. You can't use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have. more...

No human being can be more human than another human being. I liberate you from my ignorance. more...

It's true. I can do anything and do it well because God loves me. It still humbles me. more...

There is no place where God is not. more...

I believed that there was a God because I was told it by my grandmother and later by other adults. But when I found that I knew not only that there was God but that I was a child of God, when I understood that, when I comprehended that, more than that, when I internalized that, ingested that, I became courageous. more...

It's a wonderful thing to know that there is something to know there is something greater than I am, and that is God itself. more...

When I was asked to do something good, I often say yes, I'll try, yes, I'll do my best. And part of that is believing, if God loves me, if God made everything from leaves to seals and oak trees, then what is it I can't do? more...

The Holy Spirit upon my left leads my feet without ceasing into the camp of the righteous and into the tents of the free. more...

But from a distance. I would have left you whole and wholly for the delectation of those who wanted more and cared less. more...

In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care. You must care. You don't have to know how many square miles are in Idaho, you don't need to know what is the chemical makeup of chemistry, or of blood or water. Know what you know and care about the person, care about what you know and care about the person you're sharing with. more...

I had read a Tale of Two Cities and found it up to my standards as a romantic novel. She opened the first page and I heard poetry for the first time in my life...her voice slid in and curved down trough and over the words. She was nearly singing. more...

Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives. more...

I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. more...

Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option. more...

Don't let the man bring you down. more...

If on Judgement Day I were summoned by St. Peter to give testimony to the used-to-be sheriff's act of kindness, I would be unable to say anything in his behalf. His confidence that my uncle and every other Black man who heard of the Klan's coming ride would scurry under their houses to hide in chicken droppings was too humiliating to hear. Without waiting for Momma's thanks, he rode out of the yard, sure that things were as they should be and that he was a gentle squire, saving those deserving serfs from the laws of the land, which he condoned. more...

No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. more...

Live as though life was created for you. more...

The world had taken a deep breath and was having doubts about continuing to revolve. more...

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. more...

As long as you're breathing, it's never too late to do some good. more...

Each of us, famous or infamous, is a role model for somebody, and if we aren't, we should behave as though we are - cheerful, kind, loving, courteous. Because you can be sure someone is watching and taking deliberate and diligent notes. more...

Take a day to heal from the lies you've told yourself and the ones that have been told to you. more...

All my work, my life, everything I do is about survival, not just bare, awful, plodding survival, but survival with grace and faith. While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated. more...

I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people. more...

Prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud. more...

Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you've got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it. more...

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear, I rise. Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear, I rise. more...

The children to whom we read simple stories may or may not show gratitude, but each boon we give strengthens the pillars of the world. more...

Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage mean we face our fears. We are able to say, 'I have fallen, but I will get up.' more...

The area where we are the greatest is the area in which we inspire, encourage and connect with another human being. more...

Be the rainbow in someone else's cloud. more...

Preach it, I say preach it. more...

Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else. more...

Precious jewel, you glow, you shine, reflecting all the good things in the world. Just look at yourself. more...

When I'm writing, I write. And then it's as if the muse is convinced that I'm serious and says, 'Okay. Okay. I'll come.' more...

I am a woman phenomenally, phenomenal woman that is your grandmother, that is your mother, that is your sister, that is you and that is me. more...

I'm young as morning and fresh as dew. Everybody loves me and so do you. more...

A certain person wondered why a big strong girl like me wouldn't keep a job which paid a normal salary. I took my time to lead her and to read her every page. Even minimal people can't survive on minimal wage. A certain person wondered why I wait all week for you. I didn't have the words to describe just what you do. I said you had the motion of the ocean in your walk, and when you solve my riddles you don't even have to talk. more...

Forgive yourself - no one else will. more...

You don't want modesty, you want humility. Humility comes from inside out. It says someone was here before me and I'm here because I've been paid for. I have something to do and I will do that because I'm paying for someone else who has yet to come. more...

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive more...

I think when we don't know what to do it's wise to do nothing. Sit down quietly; quiet our hearts and minds and breathe deeply. more...

God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us - in the dreariest and most dreaded moments - can see a possibility of hope. more...

I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me, if I do that well enough, then I'll be able to look after someone else - the children or the husband or the elderly. But I have to look after myself first. I know that some people think that's being selfish, I think that's being self-full. more...

Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight. more...

Exchange love for hate...Thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising. more...

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. more...

You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich. But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful - don't underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer. more...

In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine. more...

There is a spirit in all music, the spirit has the ability to conjure up thoughts even pictures of something that happened or you wished would happen or you anticipate happening. Music has the ability to create ideas in you and me. It has the ability to encourage us to be creative. more...

You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn't do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it. more...

There is a kind of strength that is almost frightening in Black women. It's as if a steel rod runs right through the head down to the feet. more...

Lift up your eyes upon This day breaking for you. Give birth again To the dream. Women, children, men, Take it into the palms of your hands. Mold it into the shape of your most Private need. Sculpt it into The image of your most public self. Lift up your hearts Each new hour holds new chances For a new beginning. more...

When I say 'I am a Christian', I'm not shouting 'I'm saved'. I'm whispering 'I get lost'. That is why I chose this way... more...

Still, when it looked like the sun wasn't going to shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds. more...

I agreed a long time ago, I would not live at any cost. If I am moved or forced away from what I think is the right thing, I will not do it. more...

Without courage you cannot practice any of the other virtues. more...

Let choice whisper in your ear and love murmur in your heart. Be ready. Here comes life. more...

If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed. more...

Food served is always more than just food served. That is to say, it is more than just fuel for the body. Depending upon who has prepared the food and who has served it and with what spirit, it can uplift the-and around the world, in every culture, food is used to flirt, to be coy, a raise in the employment or to search for employment. It can bring warring factions together. more...

You have to have courage to love somebody. Because you risk everything. Everything. more...

No one comes from the earth like grass. We come like trees. We all have roots. more...

If you are going down a road and don't like what's in front of you, and look behind you and don't like what you see, get off the road. Create a new path! more...

Not everything you do is going to be a masterpiece, but you get art there and you try and sometimes it really happens. The other times you're just stretching your soul. more...

People are too busy putting things under microscopes and so forth. Creativity is greater than the sum of its parts. more...

Laugh as often as possible. You must. Because the world will offer you every reason to weep. So as often as possible, you laugh. That, I think, is part of the Great Love. more...

Try to be all you can be to be the best human being you can be. Try to be that in your church, in your temple. Try to be that in your classroom. Do it because it is right to do. more...

When it looks like the sun isn't going to shine any more, God puts a rainbow in the clouds. Each one of us has the possibility, the responsibility, the probability to be the rainbow in the clouds. more...

You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated. more...

When was the last time anyone ever told you how important you are? more...

There is something more - the spirit, or the soul. I think that that quality encourages our courtesy and care and our minds. And mercy, and identity. more...

I had to trust life and believe that life loved the person who dared to live it. more...

To those who are given much, much is expected. more...

Now, after years of observation and enough courage to admit what I have observed, I try to plant peace if I do not want discord; to plant loyalty and honesty if I want to avoid betrayal and lies. more...

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. more...

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 unshaking need for an unshakable God. My pretty Black brother was my Kingdom Come. more...

Oh, Black known and unknown poets, how often have your auctioned pains sustained us? Who will compute the lonely nights made less lonely by your songs, or by the empty pots made less tragic by your tales? If we were a people much given to revealing secrets, we might raise monuments and sacrifice to the memories of our poets, but slavery cured us of that weakness. more...

The intensity with which young people live demands that they "blank out" as often as possible. more...

The dread of futility has been my life-long plague. more...

She comprehended the perversity of life, that in the struggle lies the joy. more...

I've had rainbows in my clouds. more...

I always felt, if I can get to a library, I'll be OK. more...

If I could give you one thought, it would be to lift someone up. Lift a stranger up-lift her up. I would ask you, mother and father, brother and sister, lovers, mother and daughter, father and son, lift someone. The very idea of lifting someone up will lift you, as well. more...

Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it; to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other. more...

Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. more...

Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops. more...

People have to feel needed. Frequently, we just offer a job and 'perks.' We don't always offer people a purpose. When people feel there is a purpose and that they're needed, there's not much else to do except let them do the work. more...

Most people don't grow up. It's too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. That's the truth of it. They honor their credit cards, they find parking spaces, they marry, they have the nerve to have children, but they don't grow up. more...

I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine... before she realizes she's reading. more...

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. more...

I'm happy to be a writer - of prose, poetry, every kind of writing. Every person in the world who isn't a recluse, hermit or mute uses words. I know of no other art form that we always use. more...

In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats - maybe it's imperative that we encounter the defeats - but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be. Human beings are more alike than unalike. more...

I know something better is on the road for me. more...

Had I not had my grandmother, who dared to be my rainbow in the clouds, I would have been just another sexually abused barefoot black girl on the roads of Arkansas. more...

It is the worst thing you can do, women, is whine, .. I mean the worst. Don't complain, protest. more...

This conference ? of, for and about women ? is, in itself, a rainbow in the clouds. When numerous women come together and show that they care, not only for themselves but also for each other, that is the occasion when a rainbow is shining down on somebody else. more...

Anyone of us can be a rainbow in somebody's clouds. I want the University of Cincinnati to be a rainbow in the clouds. The University of Cincinnati is really a possibility of hope; it is a rainbow. more...

You can't be consistently fair, consistently generous, consistently just, or consistently merciful. You can be anything erratically, but to be that thing time after time after time, you have to have courage. more...

Language. I loved it. And for a long time I would think of myself, of my whole body, as an ear. more...

Everything costs and costs the earth. more...

The human heart is so delicate and sensitive that it always needs some tangible encouragement to prevent it from faltering in its labour. more...

In order to win, we pay with energy and effort and discipline. If we lose, we pay in disappointment, discontent, and lack of fulfillment. more...

Inscribed on the temple of Apollo more...

I am convinced that words are things, and we simply don't have the machinery to measure what they are. I believe that words are tangible things... more...

The truth is you never can leave home. You take it with you everywhere you go. It's under your skin. It moves the tongue or slows it, colors the thinking, impedes upon the logic. more...

I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother. more...

Courage allows the successful woman to fail - and to learn powerful lessons from the failure - so that in the end, she didn't fail at all. more...

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. more...

Every journey begins with a single step. more...

When we cast our bread upon the waters we can presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another will profit from the grantor's gift. more...

You only are free when you realize you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great. more...

Continue to be bold, courageous. Try to choose the wisest thing and once you've chosen the wisest thing go out and try to achieve it. Be it. more...

I look at some of the great novelists, and I think the reason they are great is that they're telling the truth. The fact is they're using made-up names, made-up people, made-up places, and made-up times, but they're telling the truth about the human being- what we are capable of, what makes us lose, laugh, weep, fall down, and gnash our teeth and wring our hands and kill each other and love each other. more...

I would say you might encounter many defeats but you must never be defeated, ever. In fact, it might even be necessary to confront defeat. It might be necessary, to get over it, all the way through it, and go on. I would teach her to laugh a lot. Laugh a lot at the - and the silliest things and be very, very serious. I'd teach her to love life, I can bet you that. more...

Remember, people will judge you by your actions not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg. more...

It is sad but true that sometimes we need the tragedy to help us to see how human we are and how we are more alike than we are different. more...

Look what you've already come through! Don't deny it. Say I'm stronger than I thought I was more...

You forgive yourself for every failure because you are trying to do the right thing. God knows that and you know it. Nobody else may know it. more...

If I have a monument in this world, it is my son. more...

If men are God's gift to women, then God must really love gag gifts. more...

Love recognizes no barriers. more...

Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life. more...

But still, like air, I'll rise more...

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Please remember that your difficulties do not define you. They simply strengthen your ability to overcome. more...

I do not believe that the accident of birth makes people sisters and brothers. It makes them siblings. Gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood are conditions people have to work at. It's a serious matter. You compromise, you give, you take, you stand firm, and you're relentless...And it is an investment. Sisterhood means if you happen to be in Burma and I happen to be in San Diego and I'm married to someone who is very jealous and you're married to somebody who is very possessive, if you call me in the middle of the night, I have to come. more...

Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. more...

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone. Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him. He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance. Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that. He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his. more...

Hatred is the ballast of the rock which lies upon our necks and underfoot. more...

My encouragement to you is to go tomorrow to the library. more...

A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again. more...

Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives. The struggle for equality continues unabated, and the woman warrior who is armed with wit and courage will be among the first to celebrate victory. more...

A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications. Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent. more...

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams. more...

The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear. more...

The honorary duty of a human being is to love. more...

I'm convinced that I'm a child of God. That's wonderful, exhilarating, liberating, full of promise. But the burden which goes along with that is, I'm convinced that everybody is a child of God. . . . I weep a lot. I thank God I laugh a lot, too. The main thing in one's own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry. more...

I believe in living a poetic life, an art full life. Everything we do from the way we raise our children to the way we welcome our friends is part of a large canvas we are creating. more...

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. more...

I might have it at six-fifteen a.m. just as soon as I get in, but usually it's about eleven o'clock when I'll have a glass of sherry. more...

When asked how she knows when her writing is where she wants it to be: "I know when it's the best I can do. It may not be the best there is. Another writer may do it much better. But I know when it's the best I can do. I know that one of the great arts that the writer develops is the art of saying, 'No. No, I'm finished. Bye.' And leaving it alone. I will not write it into the ground. I will not write the life out of it. I won't do that." more...

And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed. more...

I wouldn't trade anything for my story now. more...

Poetry gave me back my voice. more...

I'm a feminist. I've been a female for a long time now. It'd be stupid not to be on my own side. more...

In today's climate in our country, which is sickened with the pollution of pollution, threatened with the prominence of AIDS, riddled with burgeoning racism, rife with growing huddles of the homeless, we need art and we need art in all forms. We need all methods of art to be present, everywhere present, and all the time present. more...

The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor and style. more...

If I wanted to write, I had to be willing to develop a kind of concentration found mostly in people awaiting execution. I had to learn technique and surrender my ignorance. more...

One of the problems we have as writers is we don't take ourselves seriously while writing; being serious is setting aside a time and saying if it comes, good; if it doesn't come, good, I'll just sit here. more...

When we know better, we do better. more...

This is what I am learning, at 82 years old: the main thing is to be in love with the search for truth. more...

I know why the caged bird sings. more...

As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may not remember your name but they will never forget the way you made them feel. more...

We are the victims of the world's most comprehensive robbery. Life demands a balance. It's all right if we do a little robbing now. more...

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

The needs of a society determine its ethics. more...

On the day of your birth, the Creator filled countless storehouses, set aside for your use and yours alone. more...

My entire stay there [high school] might have been time lost if it hadn't been for the unique personality of a brilliant teacher. Miss Kirwin was that rare educator who was in love with information. I will always believe that her love of teaching came not so much from her liking for students but from her desire to make sure that some of the things she knew would find repositories so that they could be shared again. more...

The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power. more...

We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat so that we can know who we are. So that we can see, "Oh, that happened, and I rose. I did get knocked down flat in front of the whole world, and I rose. I didn't run away; I rose right where I'd been knocked down." That's how you get to know yourself. more...

Without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. more...

I have risked everything to tell the truth. Tell the truth more...

Whining is not only graceless, but it can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood. more...

Success is loving life and daring to live it. more...

It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable. more...

The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise. more...

We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color. more...

Nothing can dim the light which shines from within. more...

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. more...

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. more...

I do not need to know all things. I remind myself that it is sufficient that I know what I know and know that without believing that I will always know what I know or that what I know will always be true. more...

My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. more...

I want to thank you, Lord, for life and all that's in it. Thank you for the day and for the hour, and the minute. more...

Here on the pulse of this new day You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, Into your brother's face, your country And say simply Very simply With hope Good morning. more...

A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself more...

Talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it. more...

When teachers or people in authority put me down or in one way or another tried to make me feel less than equal to what they thought I should be - my mother was on my side. It was amazing. more...

I'm working at trying to be a Christian and that's serious business. It's like trying to be a good Jew, a good Muslim, a good Buddhist, a good Shintoist, a good Zoroastrian, a good friend, a good lover, a good mother, a good buddy?it's serious business. It's not something where you think, Oh, I've got it done. I did it all day, hotdiggety. The truth is, all day long you try to do it, try to be it, and then in the evening if you're honest and have a little courage you look at yourself and say, Hmm. I only blew it eighty-six times. Not bad. more...

Joy is a freedom. It helps a person to find his/her own liberation. The person who is joyous takes responsibility for the time he/she takes up and the space that he/she occupies. You share it! Some of you have it ... you share it! That is what joy is! When you continue to give it away you will still have so much more of it. more...

I've had people explain to me what one of my poems meant, and I've been surprised that it means that to them. If a person can use a poem of mine to interpret her life or his life, good. I can't control that. Nor would I want to. more...

There is a place in you that you must keep inviolate, a place that you must keep clean. A place where you say to any intruder, "Back up, don't you know I'm a child of God. more...

I was raped when I was very young. I told my brother the name of the person who had done it. Within a few days the man was killed. In my child's mind-seven and a half years old-I thought my voice had killed him. So I stopped talking for five years. more...

When I'm writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we're capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. more...

I'm grateful to be an American. I am grateful that we can be angry at the terrorist assault and at the same time be intelligent enough not to hold a grudge against every Arab and every Muslim. more...

I was grateful to see President Obama's victory speech. I was over the moon to see the audience. There were about 60 percent white voters the other 40 percent were African Americans, Asian, Spanish speaking etc. I wept at that spectacle, it told me that the pundits that continue in our country to try to polarize us, to keep us apart, are not succeeding. Americans are waking up not only to the truth, but the truth in each other. Hallelujah! more...

I, with millions of other Americans, have the same dream Martin Luther King Jr. had; when I wake up I wish some of the things I dreamt would be true. I wish that little black and white boys and girls would hold hands without being shocked at their nearness to each other and say in a natural way, "we have overcome. more...

Out of the huts of history's shame I rise. more...

Take a month and show some kindness for the folks who thought that blindness was an illness that affected eyes alone. more...

A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. more...

I am capable of what every other human is capable of. This is one of the great lessons of war and life . more...

We grow despite the horror that we feed upon our own tomorrow. We grow. more...

I have need of a friend. There is one and only one who will give the air from his failing lungs for my body's mend. And that one is my love. more...

Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift. more...

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good. more...

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody. more...

Ain't nothin' to it, but to do it. more...

I am convinced that most people do not grow up...We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias. more...

The charitable say in effect, 'I seem to have more than I need and you seem to have less than you need. I would like to share my excess with you.' Fine, if my excess is tangible, money or goods, and fine if not, for I learned that to be charitable with gestures and words can bring enormous joy and repair injured feelings. more...

A friend may be waiting behind a stranger's face. more...

In all the institutions I try to be present and accountable for all I do and leave undone. I know that eventually I shall have to be present and accountable n the presence of God. I do not wish to be found wanting. more...

The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed. more...

No one can take the place of a friend, no one. more...

If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult. more...

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still like dust, I'll rise. more...

Without willing it, I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware. And the worst part of my awareness was that I didn't know what I was aware of. I knew I knew very little, but I was certain that the things I had yet to learn wouldn't be taught to me at George Washington High School. more...

It's in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. more...

When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe. more...

I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at commensurate speed. more...

That knowledge humbles me, melts my bones, closes my ears, and makes my teeth rock loosely in their gums. And it also liberates me. I am a big bird winging over high mountains, down into serene valleys. I am ripples of waves on silver seas. I'm a spring leaf trembling in anticipation. more...

Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well. more...

The main thing in one's own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry. more...

That's what you want to do? Then nothing beats a trial but a failure. Give it everything you've got. I've told you many times, 'Cant do is like Dont Care.' Neither of them have a home. more...

Just like moons and suns, With certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. more...

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. more...

A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally. more...

When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness... all the good things. more...

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. more...

What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks 'the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,'.... And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I'm writing, I write. And then it's as if the muse is convinced that I'm serious and says, 'Okay. Okay. I'll come. more...

Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to thrive with passion, compassion, and style. more...

To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. more...

The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they don't know my story... more...

Making a decision to write was a lot like deciding to jump into a frozen lake. more...

I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh. more...

There were people who went to sleep last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. And those dead folks would give anything at all for just five minutes of this weather or ten minutes of plowing. So you watch yourself about complaining. What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. more...

Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now. more...

Information helps you to see that you're not alone. That there's somebody in Mississippi and somebody in Tokyo who 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. more...

Let's tell the truth to people. When people ask, 'How are you?' have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avaoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don't want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you. more...

Everyone grows old but not everyone grows up. more...

I thought if I could face the worst danger voluntarily, and triumph, I would forever have power over it. more...

Some people cannot see a good thing when it is right here, right now. Others can sense a good thing coming when it is days, months, or miles away. more...

If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers. more...

Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between. more...

I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt. more...

Ritie, don't worry 'cause you ain't pretty. Plenty pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind. more...

I want all my senses engaged. Let me absorb the world's variety and uniqueness. more...

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. more...

When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we're capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I'm trying for that. But I'm also trying for the language. I'm trying to see how it can really sound. I really love language. I love it for wate it does for us, how it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and delicacies of our existence. And then it allows us to laugh, allows us to show wit. Real wit is shown in language. We need language. more...

To those who have given up on love: I say, "Trust life a little bit. more...

A story went the rounds about a San Franciscan white matron who refused to sit beside a Negro civilian on the streetcar, even after he made room for her on the seat. Her explanation was that she would not sit beside a draft dodger who was a Negro as well. She added that the least he could do was fight for his country the way her son was fighting on Iwo Jima. The story said that the man pulled his body away from the window to show an armless sleeve. He said quietly and with great dignity, "Then ask your son to look around for my arm, which I left over there. more...

Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse. more...

To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflict than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity. more...

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean. more...

Won't it be wonderful when black history and native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history. more...

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain. more...

In the flush of love's light, we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free. more...

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. more...

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. more...

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. more...

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. more...

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. more...

Fighting for one's freedom, struggling towards being free, is like struggling to be a poet or a good Christian or a good Jew or a good Muslim or good Zen Buddhist. You work all day long and achieve some kind of level of success by nightfall, go to sleep and wake up the next morning with the job still to be done. So you start all over again. more...

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. more...

What is a fear of living? It's being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself - for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don't know what you're here to do, then just do some good. more...

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. more...

Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time. more...

Whenever I want to laugh, I read a wonderful book, 'Children's Letters to God.' You can open it anywhere. One I read recently said, 'Dear God, thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.' more...

If we accept being talked to any kind of a way, then we are telling ourselves we are not quite worth the best. And if we have the effrontery to talk to anybody with less than courtesy, we tell ourselves and the world we are not very intelligent. more...

I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too. more...

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning. more...

I'm just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression. more...

Growing up, my grandmother did not want worldly music in the house. Then when I went out to California, I started listening to Spanish music, mostly Mexican music. But were I in Egypt, I would listen to the music of the people, or if I was in Italy, I'd listen to Italian music. more...

I thank God I'm myself and for the life I'm given to live and for friends and lovers and beloveds, and I thank God for knowing that all those people have already paid for me. more...

All great achievements require time. more...

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. more...

I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it. more...

It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. more...

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded. more...

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. more...

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. more...

We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans - because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That's why we paint, that's why we dare to love someone - because we have the impulse to explain who we are. more...

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. more...

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. more...

I have great respect for the past. If you don't know where you've come from, you don't know where you're going. I have respect for the past, but I'm a person of the moment. I'm here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I'm at, then I go forward to the next place. more...

The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread, and fried chicken. more...

In so many ways, segregation shaped me, and education liberated me. more...

I have a feeling that I make a very good friend, and I'm a good mother, and a good sister, and a good citizen. I am involved in life itself - all of it. And I have a lot of energy and a lot of nerve. more...

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: 'I'm with you kid. Let's go.' more...

I got my own back. more...

If we don't plant the right things, we will reap the wrong things. It goes without saying. And you don't have to be, you know, a brilliant biochemist and you don't have to have an IQ of 150. Just common sense tells you to be kind, ninny, fool. Be kind. more...

Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more. more...

We are braver and wiser because they existed, those strong women and strong men... We are who we are because they were who they were. It's wise to know where you come from, who called your name. more...

Until blacks and whites see each other as brother and sister, we will not have parity. It's very clear. more...

The most important thing I can tell you about aging is this: If you really feel that you want to have an off-the-shoulder blouse and some big beads and thong sandals and a dirndl skirt and a magnolia in your hair, do it. Even if you're wrinkled. more...

I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life. more...

Hold those things that tell your history and protect them. During slavery, who was able to read or write or keep anything? The ability to have somebody to tell your story to is so important. It says: 'I was here. I may be sold tomorrow. But you know I was here.' more...

A black person grows up in this country - and in many places - knowing that racism will be as familiar as salt to the tongue. Also, it can be as dangerous as too much salt. I think that you must struggle for betterment for yourself and for everyone. more...

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

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. more...

I would be a liar, a hypocrite, or a fool - and I'm not any of those - to say that I don't write for the reader. I do. But for the reader who hears, who really will work at it, going behind what I seem to say. So I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues. more...

Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin - find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less. more...

I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me. more...

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. more...

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. more...

The loss of young first love is so painful that it borders on the ludicrous. more...

I know some people might think it odd - unworthy even - for me to have written a cookbook, but I make no apologies. The U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins thought I had demeaned myself by writing poetry for Hallmark Cards, but I am the people's poet so I write for the people. more...

Our stories come from our lives and from the playwright's pen, the mind of the actor, the roles we create, the artistry of life itself and the quest for peace. more...

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. more...

Life loves the liver of it. more...

Bitterness is cancer - it eats upon the host. It doesn't do anything to the object of its displeasure. more...

If you're serious, you really understand that it's important that you laugh as much as possible and admit that you're the funniest person you ever met. You have to laugh. Admit that you're funny. Otherwise, you die in solemnity. more...

Encouragement to all women is - let us try to offer help before we have to offer therapy. That is to say, let's see if we can't prevent being ill by trying to offer a love of prevention before illness. more...

I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. more...

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. more...

If you want what you're saying heard, then take your time and say it so that the listener will actually hear it. You might save somebody's life. Your own, first. more...

Human beings love poetry. They don't even know it sometimes... whether they're the songs of Bono, or the songs of Justin Bieber... they're listening to poetry. more...

I'm a religious woman. And I feel I have responsibility. I have no modesty at all. I'm even afraid of it - it's a learned affectation and it's just stuck on me like decals. Now I pray for humility because that comes from inside out. more...

You have to develop ways so that you can take up for yourself, and then you take up for someone else. And so sooner or later, you have enough courage to really stand up for the human race and say, 'I'm a representative.' more...

While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man's humanity to man. more...

There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth. more...

We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay - and rise! more...

Independence is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more. more...

I work very hard, and I play very hard. I'm grateful for life. And I live it - I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it. more...

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! more...

I will not sit in a room with black people when the N word is used. I know it was meant to belittle a person, so I will not sit there and have that poison put on me. Now a black person can say, 'Oh, you know, I can use this word because I'm black.' more...

Somehow, we have come to the erroneous belief that we are all but flesh, blood, and bones, and that's all. So we direct our values to material things. more...

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. more...

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. more...

I think Clinton, after getting into office and into Washington, was shocked at being bludgeoned. So he spent time trying to be all things to all people - one way guaranteed not to be successful or respected in a lion's den. You can't just play around with all those big cats - you've got to take somebody on. more...

All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike. more...

Like a pianist runs her fingers over the keys, I'll search my mind for what to say. Now, the poem may want you to write it. And then sometimes you see a situation and think, 'I'd like to write about that.' Those are two different ways of being approached by a poem, or approaching a poem. more...

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. more...

I wasn't a pretty girl. I was six feet tall at 15, you know. more...

In a long meter hymn, a singer - they call it 'lays out a line.' And then the whole church joins in in repeating that line. And they form a wall of harmony so tight, you can't wedge a pin between it. more...

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. more...

How wonderful it is to be an American. We have known the best of times and the worst of times. more...

I know that I'm not the easiest person to live with. The challenge I put on myself is so great that the person I live with feels himself challenged. I bring a lot to bear, and I don't know how not to. more...

I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water. more...

Every December, I host a tree-trimming party. I serve chili with cornbread and lots of good wine. It's a wonderful party, and it shows how much adults like to play. more...

I believe that every person is born with talent. more...

It's very important to know the neighbor next door and the people down the street and the people in another race. more...

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. more...

Once you appreciate one of your blessings, one of your senses, your sense of hearing, then you begin to respect the sense of seeing and touching and tasting, you learn to respect all the senses. more...

I've always written. There's a journal which I kept from about 9 years old. The man who gave it to me lived across the street from the store and kept it when my grandmother's papers were destroyed. I'd written some essays. I loved poetry, still do. But I really, really loved it then. more...

I'm just like you - I want to be a good human being. I'm doing my best, and I'm working at it. And I'm trying to be a Christian. I'm always amazed when people walk up to me and say, 'I'm a Christian.' I always think, 'Already? You've already got it?' I'm working at it. And at my age, I'll still be working at it at 96. more...

Everyone has at least one story, and each of us is funny if we admit it. You have to admit you're the funniest person you've ever heard of. more...

Elimination of illiteracy is as serious an issue to our history as the abolition of slavery. more...

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders. more...

The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind. more...

In all my work, I try to say - 'You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?' more...

There's something which impels us to show our inner souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know. more...

If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die. more...

There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it. more...

Don't let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don't whine. You can be brought low, that's OK, but don't be reduced by them. Just say, 'That's life.' more...

I keep a hotel room in my town, although I have a large house. And I go there at about 5:30 in the morning, and I start working. And I don't allow anybody to come in that room. I work on yellow pads and with ballpoint pens. I keep a Bible, a thesaurus, a dictionary, and a bottle of sherry. I stay there until midday. more...

Don't get older just to get wiser. If you get older, you will be wiser, I believe that - if you dare. But get older because it's fun! more...

I became the kind of parent my mother was to me. more...

I'm considered wise, and sometimes I see myself as knowing. Most of the time, I see myself as wanting to know. And I see myself as a very interested person. I've never been bored in my life. more...

Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. We come from the Creator with creativity. I think that each one of us is born with creativity. more...

I love the melodies in the Old Testament, how preachers highlight them when they read from the Scripture. But I was influenced forever by the New Testament. I love the Beatitudes, informing us that the meek shall inherit the earth. more...

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. more...

The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you - black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight. more...

Courage - you develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn't want to pick up a 100-pound weight without preparing yourself. more...

I refuse to allow any man-made differences to separate me from any other human beings. more...

What humility does for one is it reminds us that there are people before me. I have already been paid for. And what I need to do is prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who has yet to come but who may be here and needs me. more...

I liked to write from the time I was about 12 or 13. I loved to read. And since I only spoke to my brother, I would write down my thoughts. And I think I wrote some of the worst poetry west of the Rockies. But by the time I was in my 20s, I found myself writing little essays and more poetry - writing at writing. more...

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities. more...

All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened. more...

At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice. more...

Cooking certain dishes, like roast pork, reminds me of my mother. more...

On Saturday afternoons when all the things are done in the house and there's no real work to be done, I play Bach and Chopin and turn it up real loudly and get a good bottle of chardonnay and sit out on my deck and look out at the garden. more...

All of us knows, not what is expedient, not what is going to make us popular, not what the policy is, or the company policy - but in truth each of us knows what is the right thing to do. And that's how I am guided. more...

The only thing is, people have to develop courage. It is most important of all the virtues. Because without courage, you can't practice any other virtues consistently. more...

I'm working at trying to be a Christian, and that's serious business. It's like trying to be a good Jew, a good Muslim, a good Buddhist, a good Shintoist, a good Zoroastrian, a good friend, a good lover, a good mother, a good buddy - it's serious business. more...

Timidity makes a person modest. It makes him or her say, 'I'm not worthy of being written up in the record of deeds in heaven or on earth.' Timidity keeps people from their good. They are afraid to say, 'Yes, I deserve it.' more...

Politicians must set their aims for the high ground and according to our various leanings, Democratic, Republican, Independent, we will follow. Politicians must be told if they continue to sink into the mud of obscenity, they will proceed alone. more...

Easy reading is damn hard writing. But if it's right, it's easy. It's the other way round, too. If it's slovenly written, then it's hard to read. It doesn't give the reader what the careful writer can give the reader. more...

I never expected anyone to take care of me, but in my wildest dreams and juvenile yearnings, I wanted the house with the picket fence from June Allyson movies. I knew that was yearning like one yearns to fly. more...

For a person who grew up in the '30s and '40s in the segregated South, with so many doors closed without explanation to me, libraries and books said, 'Here I am, read me.' Over time I have learned I am at my best around books. more...

I always knew from that moment, from the time I found myself at home in that little segregated library in the South, all the way up until I walked up the steps of the New York City library, I always felt, in any town, if I can get to a library, I'll be OK. It really helped me as a child, and that never left me. more...

I'm very, very serious - I'm serious enough not to take myself too seriously. That means I can be completely wedded to the moment. But when I leave that moment, I want to be completely wedded to the next moment. more...

At one time, you could sit on the Rue de la Paix in Paris or at the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv or in Medina and you could see a person come in, black, white, it didn't matter. You said, 'That's an American' because there's a readiness to smile and to talk to people. more...

It's so tedious writing cookbooks or writing the recipes because I've never been much of a measurer. But to write a book, you have to measure everything. more...

I don't know how much longer I'll be around. I'll probably be writing when the Lord says, 'Maya, Maya Angelou, it's time.' more...

My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring still. more...

Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age. more...

I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all. more...

The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free. more...

I'm not a writer who teaches. I'm a teacher who writes. more...

I've never had a dislike for men. I've been badly treated by some. But I've been loved greatly by some. I married a lot of them. more...

In a magazine, one can get - from cover to cover - 15 to 20 different ideas about life and how to live it. more...

It is a no-fail, incontrovertible reality: If you get, give. If you learn, teach. You can't do anything with that except do it. more...

I like chicken a lot because chicken is generous - that is to say, it's obedient. It will do whatever you tell it to do. more...

For Africa to me... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place. more...

Growing up, I decided, a long time ago, I wouldn't accept any manmade differences between human beings, differences made at somebody else's insistence or someone else's whim or convenience. more...

That's the biggest gift I can give anybody: 'Wake up, be aware of who you are, what you're doing and what you can do to prevent yourself from becoming ill.' more...

I am never proud to participate in violence, yet I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves that we can be ready and able to come to our own defence when and wherever needed. more...

It's still scary every time I go back to the past. Each morning, my heart catches. When I get there, I remember how the light was, where the draft was coming from, what odors were in the air. When I write, I get all the weeping out. more...

To take a few nouns, and a few pronouns, and adverbs and adjectives, and put them together, ball them up, and throw them against the wall to make them bounce. That's what Norman Mailer did. That's what James Baldwin did, and Joan Didion did, and that's what I do - that's what I mean to do. more...

If you were the President of the United States or the Queen of England - you couldn't have a person who would be more protective than my mother was for me. Which meant really that I could dare to do all sorts of things. more...

Of course, there are those critics - New York critics as a rule - who say, 'Well, Maya Angelou has a new book out and of course it's good but then she's a natural writer.' Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language. more...

I'm a serious aficionada of country music - Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry. I've even written some songs. They haven't done anything of mine yet. But it's only a matter of time. more...

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. more...

Living in a state of terror was new to many white people in America, but black people have been living in a state of terror in this country for more than 400 years. more...

I find in my poetry and prose the rhythms and imagery of the best - I mean, when I'm at my best - of the good Southern black preachers. The lyricism of the spirituals and the directness of gospel songs and the mystery of blues are in my music or in my poetry and prose, or I missed everything. more...

If I walked into the kitchen without washing my hands as a kid, I'd hear a loud 'A-hem!' from my mother or grandmother. Now I count on other people to do the same. more...

When I cook for my family on Christmas, I make feijoada, a South American dish of roasted and smoked meats like ham, pork, beef, lamb, and bacon - all served with black beans and rice. It's festive but different. more...

All information belongs to everybody all the time. It should be available. It should be accessible to the child, to the woman, to the man, to the old person, to the semiliterate, to the presidents of universities, to everyone. It should be open. more...

I've still not written as well as I want to. I want to write so that the reader in Des Moines, Iowa, in Kowloon, China, in Cape Town, South Africa, can say, 'You know, that's the truth. I wasn't there, and I wasn't a six-foot black girl, but that's the truth.' more...

At one time in my life, from the time I was seven until I was about 13, I didn't speak. I only spoke to my brother. The reason I didn't speak: I had been molested, and I told the name of the molester to my brother who told it to the family. more...

One of my lungs is half gone, and the other half, because I smoked for years, has a lesion. So I can't swim anymore and had the swimming pool covered over. Now it's what I call the dance pavilion, and so I and my friends sit out and put music on and watch people dance. more...

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. more...

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. more...

At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself. more...

Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives. more...

My greatest blessing has been the birth of my son. My next greatest blessing has been my ability to turn people into children of mine. more...

I love the song 'I Hope You Dance' by Lee Ann Womack. I was going to write that song, but someone beat me to it. more...

Achievement brings its own anticlimax. more...

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

I love a Hebrew National hot dog with an ice-cold Corona - no lime. If the phone rings, I won't answer until I'm done. more...

Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise. more...

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. more...

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

The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are. more...

I would be stupid not to be on my own side. But I'm a human being, too. And I'm on the side of human beings, rather than on the side of crocodiles. more...

Effective action is always unjust. more...

I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition. more...

I think music is one of the hero/sheroes of the African-American existence. more...

Writing and cookery are just two different means of communication. more...

I'm interested in women's health because I'm a woman. I'd be a darn fool not to be on my own side. more...

I admire people who dare to take the language, English, and understand it and understand the melody. more...

I think that that's the wisest thing - to prevent illness before we try to cure something. more...

I speak a number of languages, but none are more beautiful to me than English. more...

One of the wonderful things about Oprah: She teaches you to keep on stepping. more...

I wrote some of the worst poetry west from the Mississippi River, but I wrote. And I finally sometimes got it right. more...

I long for the time when all human history is taught as one history, because it really is. more...

Modesty is a learned affectation. And as soon as life slams the modest person against the wall, that modesty drops. more...

When I write, I tend to twist my hair. Something for my small mind to do, I guess. more...

I've read everything Thomas Wolfe ever wrote; my brother and I memorized whole chapters of 'You Can't Go Home Again' and 'Look Homeward, Angel.' more...

I don't think there's such a thing as autobiographical fiction. If I say it happened, it happened, even if only in my mind. more...

I write some country music. There's a song called 'I Hope You Dance.' Incredible. I was going to write that poem; somebody beat me to it. more...

Whenever I'm around some who is modest, I think, 'Run like hell and all of fire.' You don't want modesty, you want humility. more...

I know that I've been guided by God. I am obedient. more...

I like to have guns around. I don't like to carry them. more...

I like to speak on matters which matter to human beings, and almost everything matters to human beings. more...

I did work in a strip club, but I didn't strip. I danced, and I became very popular. more...

I was a dancer for many years. I was a premier dancer with 'Porgy and Bess,' the opera. And I taught dance some, in different places. more...

I was married a few times, and one of my husbands was jealous of me writing. more...

If I'm the people's poet, then I ought to be in people's hands - and, I hope, in their heart. more...

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. more...

The hope, the hope that lives in the breast of the black American, is just so tremendous that it overwhelms me sometimes. more...

The terrorist action of 9/11 gave birth to President Obama's entry to the White House. Not directly, but indirectly. more...

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.' more...

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. more...

I do like to have guns around. I don't like to carry them. But I like - if somebody is going to come into my house and I have not put out the welcome mat, I want to stop them. more...

Those of us who submitted or surrendered our ideas and dreams and identities to the 'leaders' must take back our rights, our identities, our responsibilities. more...

And if a person is religious, I think it's good, it helps you a bit. But if you're not, at least you can have the sense that there is a condition inside you which looks at the stars with amazement and awe. more...

I think a number of the leaders are, whether you like it or not, in the hip-hop generation. And when they understand enough, they'll do wonders. I count on them. more...

Whenever something went wrong when I was young - if I had a pimple or if my hair broke - my mom would say, 'Sister mine, I'm going to make you some soup.' And I really thought the soup would make my pimple go away or my hair stronger. more...

If you will have a person enslaved, the first thing you must do is convince yourself that the person is subhuman. The second thing you have to do is convince your allies so you'll have some help, and the third and probably unkindest cut of all is to convince that person that he or she is subhuman and deserves it. more...

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. more...

When younger writers and poets, musicians and painters are weakened by a stemming of funds, they come to me saddened, not as full of dreams and excitement and ideas. I am then weakened and diminished, and made less rich. more...

Black people comprehend the South. We understand its weight. It has rested on our backs... I knew that my heart would break if ever I put my foot down on that soil, moist, still, with old hurts. I had to face the fear/loathing at its source or it would consume me whole. more...

Early on, I was so impressed with Charles Dickens. I grew up in the South, in a little village in Arkansas, and the whites in my town were really mean, and rude. Dickens, I could tell, wouldn't be a man who would curse me out and talk to me rudely. more...

I read the Bible to myself; I'll take any translation, any edition, and read it aloud, just to hear the language, hear the rhythm, and remind myself how beautiful English is. more...

I agree with Balzac and 19th-century writers, black and white, who say, 'I write for money.' Yes, I think everybody should be paid handsomely; I insist on it, and I pay people who work for me, or with me, handsomely. more...

I was very blessed to have family and friends, but particularly family, who told me I was not only all right, I was just right, so I believe that my brain is a good one, and it's lasting me very well. more...

I love wisdom. And you can never be great at anything unless you love it. Not be in love with it, but love the thing, admire the thing. And it seems that if you love the thing, and you don't just want to possess it, it will find you. more...

I promised myself that I would write as well as I can, tell the truth, not to tell everything I know, but to make sure that everything I tell is true, as I understand it. And to use the eloquence which my language affords me. more...

The first decade of the twentieth century was not a great time to be born black and poor and female in St. Louis, Missouri, but Vivian Baxter was born black and poor, to black and poor parents. Later she would grow up and be called beautiful. As a grown woman she would be known as the butter-colored lady with the blowback hair. more...

I think I have had so much blessing - I've had my brother, who was brilliant - I think my family came closest to making a genius when they made my brother - Bailey was just all of that. He loved me. more...

I was born in St. Louis but lived there just for a few minutes in my life. more...

Shakespeare - I was very influenced - still am - by Shakespeare. I couldn't believe that a white man in the 16th century could so know my heart. more...

Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. more...

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. more...

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. more...

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. more...

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

My grandmother took me to church on Sunday all day long, every Sunday into the night. Then Monday evening was the missionary meeting. Tuesday evening was usher board meeting. Wednesday evening was prayer meeting. Thursday evening was visit the sick. Friday evening was choir practice. I mean, and at all those gatherings, we sang. more...

The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God - if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That's what I think. more...

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. more...

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. more...

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. more...

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.' more...

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. more...

A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim. more...

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. more...

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. more...

Nothing will work unless you do. more...

I'm grateful to intelligent people. That doesn't mean educated. That doesn't mean intellectual. I mean really intelligent. What black old people used to call 'mother wit' means intelligence that you had in your mother's womb. That's what you rely on. You know what's right to do. more...

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. more...

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

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

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. more...

I have a son, who is my heart. A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind. more...

I'm convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they're stones that don't matter. As long as you're breathing, it's never too late to do some good. more...

The first thing I do in the morning when I awaken is say, 'Thank you, Lord!' I'm grateful to be alive, and I'm going to try to tell the truth as well as I know and tell it as eloquently as I can so that people can hear it. more...

I'm grateful to be of use. I will not be misused or abused, but I will be of use to anybody. more...

Try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity. more...

I am a child of God. I always carry that with me. more...

The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. more...

Don't trust people who don't laugh more...

Have a purpose to your life: Purpose does not mean having a job...You can have a job and still be unfulfilled. more...

Tragedy, no matter how sad, becomes boring to those not caught in its addictive caress. more...

Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. more...

One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. more...

You rose into my life like a promised sunrise, brightening my days with the light in your eyes. I've never been so strong. Now I'm where I belong. more...

Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency more...

What we really have to do is take a day and sit down and think. The world is not going to end or fall apart. Jobs won't be lost. Kids will not run crazy in one day. Lovers won't stop speaking to you. Husbands and wives are not going to disappear. Just take that one day and think. Don't read. Don't write. No television, no radio, no distractions. Sit down and think. . . . Go sit in a church, or in the park, or take a long walk and think. Call it a healing day. more...

The whites were really brutishly ignorant, blitheringly, so they killed people sometimes - just came into the African-American community and maimed people because they didn't agree with God's choice for the colors of the people's skin. more...

If a human being dreams a great dream, dares to love somebody; if a human being dares to be Martin King, or Mahatma Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Malcolm X; if a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which she or he was born-it means so can you. And so you can try to stretch, stretch, stretch yourself so you can internalize, 'Homo sum, humani nil a me alienum puto. I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.' That's one thing I'm learning. more...

The happy heart runs with the river, floats on the air, lifts to the music, soars with the eagle, hopes with the prayer. more...

In spite of everything that was done to me and my race, in spite of the adversity and the bitter moments, again we rise. more...

No not me go find someone else to bring down more...

Each time a dancer moves devoutly or a composer faithfully searches the silence for the veiled melodies, eternity is engaged. more...

Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise. more...

When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young. more...

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. more...

I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better. more...

I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that's me. more...

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off of you. more...

Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it! more...

I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare. more...

We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life. Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain. Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls. We are weaned from our timidity In the flush of love's light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free. more...

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. more...

I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. more...

Women been gittin' pregnant ever since Eve ate that apple. more...

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. more...

We are all human; therefore, nothing human can be alien to us. more...

When you know better you do better. more...

Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art. more...

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 more...

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. more...

You dwell in whitened castles with deep and poisoned moats and cannot hear the curses which fill your children's throats. more...

We love and lose in China, we weep on England's moors, and laugh and moan in Guinea, and thrive on Spanish shores. We seek success in Finland, are born and die in Maine. In minor ways we differ, in major we're the same. more...

Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life. more...

We need much less than we think we need. more...

Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant. more...

Be present in all things and thankful for all things. more...

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

If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me? more...

Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. more...

If funkytown was a trailerpark, this guy would be a double-wide. more...

Had I known that the heart breaks slowly, dismantling itself into unrecognizable plots of misery... had I known yet I would have loved you, your brash and insolent beauty, your heavy comedic face and knowledge of sweet delights, but from a distance I would have left you whole and wholly for the delectation of those who wanted more and cared less. more...

We need to remember that we are all created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed. more...

I sustain myself with the love of family. more...

I am overwhelmed by the grace and persistence of my people. more...

Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. more...

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 bird sings of freedom. more...

Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet. more...

When members of a society wish to secure that society's rich heritage they cherish their arts and respect their artists. The esteem with which we regard the multiple cultures offered in our country enhances our possibilities for healthy survival and continued social development. more...

Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman. more...

Strong women- precious jewels all- their humanness is evident in their accessibility. We are able to enter into the spirit of these women and rejoice in their warmth and courage. more...

It's amazing. I can do anything. And do it well. Any good thing, I can do it. That's why I am who I am, yes, because God loves me and I'm amazed at it. I'm grateful for it. more...

Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God. more...

What I think it really means is: I'm a teacher. I am a teacher. I teach all the time, as you do and as all of you do-whether we know it or not, whether we take responsibility for it or not. I hold nothing back because I want to see that light go off. I like to see the children say, 'I never thought of that before.' And I think, 'I've got them!' more...

I encourage courtesy. To accept nothing less than courtesy, and to give nothing less than courtesy. If we accept being talked to any kind of a way, then we are telling ourselves we are not quite worth the best. And if we have the effrontery to talk to anybody with less than courtesy, we tell ourselves and the world we are not very intelligent. more...

You can see in others what they don't see in themselves and what the world doesn't see in them, more...

We all have that possibility, that potential and that promise of seeing beyond the seeming. more...

Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity. more...

I thank God that I've lived long enough to see what I have seen, and I pray that people will continue to do better. We are doing better, it may not seem so, but there was a time when people were lynched in the middle of the street and it was not against the law. We are doing better, but we have so much more to do. more...

When we decide to be happy we accept the responsibility to bring happiness to someone else. more...

A leader sees greatness in other people. He nor she can be much of a leader if all she sees is herself. more...

Let the brain go to work, let it meet the heart and you will be able to forgive. more...

You don't have to tell everything you know, but let what you do say be the truth as you understand it. more...

I am convinced that courage is the most important of all the virtues. Because without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue consistently. You can be kind for a while; you can be generous for a while; you can be just for a while, or merciful for a while, even loving for a while. But it is only with courage that you can be persistently and insistently kind and generous and fair. more...

This is my life. it is my one time to be me. i want to experience every good thing. more...

Life is a gift, and i try to respond with grace and courtesy. more...

I always knew from that moment, from the time I found myself at home in that little segregated library in the South, all the way up until I walked up the steps of the New York City library, I always felt, in any town, if I can get to a library, I'll be okay. It really helped me as a child, and that never left me. So I have a special place for every library, in my heart of hearts. more...

The trouble for the thief is not how to steal the chief's bugle, but where to blow it. more...

You're not serious; you're boring as hell. more...

Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike. more...

Because of our routines we forget that life is an ongoing adventure. more...

When things were very bad his soul just crawled behind his heart and curled up and went to sleep more...

Glory falls around us as we sob a dirge of desolation on the Cross more...

There are some nights when sleep plays coy, aloof and disdainful. And all the wiles that I employ to win its service to my side are useless as wounded pride, and much more painful. more...

Don't bring negative to my door. more...

I thought if war did not include killing, I'd like to see one every year. more...

You can never be great at anything unless you love it. more...

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise. more...

Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone. more...

In diversity there is beauty and there is strength. more...

No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn. more...

Being a woman is hard work. more...

When I passed forty I dropped pretense, 'cause men like women who got some sense. more...

Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you... yet, someone survived... You can do anything you choose to do. more...

We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life. more...

Education helps one case cease being intimidated by strange situations. more...

You want me to do something... tell me I can't do it. more...

We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate - thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising. more...

The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change. more...

I encourage you to live with life. Be courageous, adventurous. Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve. more...

I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'. more...

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. more...

When you learn, teach, when you get, give. more...

I've got a magic charm That I keep up my sleeve, I can walk the ocean floor And never have to breathe. more...

Mother's life flowed radiant. Flourescent-tipped waves on incoming tides. more...

Most people don't grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging. more...

You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I'll rise! more...

Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances. more...

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. more...

The sisters and brothers that you meet give you the materials which your character uses to build itself. It is said that some people are born great, others achieve it, some have it thrust upon them. In truth, the ways in which your character is built have to do with all three of those. Those around you, those you choose, and those who choose you. more...

Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. more...

We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans - because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. more...

I believe talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it. You can plug into it and light up a lamp, keep a heart pump going, light a cathedral, or you can electrocute a person with it. Electricity will do all that. It makes no judgment. I think talent is like that. I believe every person is born with talent. more...

I couldn't tell fact from fiction, Or if the dream was true My only sure prediction In this world was you. I'd touch your features inchly. Beard love and dared the cost, The sented spiel reeled me unreal And I found my senses lost. more...

Anger is like fire. It burns all clean. more...

Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure. . . Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art: to bring all our energies to each encounter, to remain flexible enough to notice and admit when what we expected to happen did not happen. We need to remember that we are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed. more...

Intelligence always had a pornographic influence on me. more...

Be courageous, but not foolhardy. Walk proud as you are. more...

You don't need another person, place or thing to make you whole. God already did that. Your job is to know it. more...

The needs of a society determine its ethics, and in the Black American ghettos the hero is that man who is offered only the crumbs from his country's table but by ingenuity and courage is able to take for himself a Lucullan feast. Hence the janitor who lives in one room but sports a robin's-egg-blue Cadillac is not laughed at but admired, and the domestic who buys forty-dollar shoes is not criticized but is appreciated. We know that they have put to use their full mental and physical powers. Each single gain feeds into the gains of the body collective. more...

Until recently each generation found it more expedient to plead guilty to the charge of being young and ignorant, easier to take the punishment meted out by the older generation (which had itself confessed to the same crime short years before). The command to grow up at once was more bearable than the faceless horror of wavering purpose, which was youth. more...

We really are 15 countries, and it's remarkable that each of us thinks we represent the real America. The Midwesterner in Kansas, the black American in Durham - both are certain they are the real American. more...

We are all creative, but by the time we are three of four years old, someone has knocked the creativity out of us. Some people shut up the kids who start to tell stories. Kids dance in their cribs, but someone will insist they sit still. By the time the creative people are ten or twelve, they want to be like everyone else. more...

The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams. more...

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. more...

...We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. That sounds goody two-shoes, I know, but I believe that a diamond is the result of extreme pressure and time. Less time is crystal. Less than that is coal. Less than that is fossilized leaves. Less than that it's just plain dirt. In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats - maybe it's imperative that we encounter the defeats - but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be. more...

Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution. more...

If it is true that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, isn't it also true a society is only as healthy as its sickest citizen and only as wealthy as its most deprived? more...

You are the sum total of everything you've seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot- it's all right there. more...

I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one's skin, at the extreme corners of one's eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe. more...

I can see in the acorn the oak tree. I see the growth, the rebuilding, the restoring. I see that is the American psyche. There is so much we can draw understanding from. One of the lessons is the development of courage. Because without courage, you can't practice any of the other virtues consistently. more...

Life loves the person who dares to live it. more...

I will write on the pages of history what I want them to say. I will be myself. I will speak my own name. more...

When the storyteller tells the truth, she reminds us that human beings are more alike than unalike... A story is what it's like to be a human being-to be knocked down and to miraculously arise. Each one of us has arisen, awakened. We do rise. more...

All knowledge is spendable currency, depending on the market. more...

To be angry is very good. It burns out things and leaves nutrients in the soil. You should always be ready to be angry at injustice and cruelty. more...

If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully. more...

Continue. Be loving and be strong. Be fierce and be kind. And don't give in and don't give up.' more...

Each child belongs to all of us and they will bring us a tomorrow in direct relation to the responsibility we have shown to them. more...

All great acheivements require time. more...

The thorn from the bush one has planted, nourished and pruned pricks more deeply and draws more blood. more...

Life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you. more...

Love is a condition so powerful; it may be that which pulls the stars in the firmament. It may be that which pushes and urges the blood in the veins. Courage: you have to have courage to love somebody because you risk everything-ever ything. more...

The truth brings the past into the present and prepares us for the future. That's what truth does more...

We must be warriors in the struggle against ignorance more...

There is an intimate laughter to be found only among friends more...

I know that you that you may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. If you accept that you have been defeated, you give power to the force that is trying to defeat you. more...

To grow up is to stop putting blame on parents more...

When you do nothing you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better. more...

Some of us are timid. We think we have something to lose so we don't try for that next hill. more...

We are more alike than unalike. more...

Determine to live life with flair and laughter. more...

I dreamt we walked together along the shore. We made satisfying small talk and laughed. This morning I found sand in my shoe and a seashell in my pocket. Was I only dreaming? more...

I'm not sure if resilience is ever achieved alone. Experience allows us to learn from example. But if we have someone who loves us-I don't mean who indulges us, but who loves us enough to be on our side-then it's easier to grow resilience, to grow belief in self, to grow self-esteem. And it's self-esteem that allows a person to stand up. more...

They who have health have hope; and they who have hope, have everything. more...

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution. more...

You have to develop ways so that you can take up for yourself, and then you take up for someone else. And so sooner or later, you have enough courage to really stand up for the human race and say, 'I'm a representative. ' more...

The idea of overcoming is always fascinating to me. It's fascinating because few of us realize how much energy we have expended just to be here today. I don't think we give ourselves enough credit for the overcoming. more...

Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. more...

Having courage does not mean we are unafraid. more...

I would ask every man and every woman who's had the blessing of having children, 'Would you deny your son or your daughter the ecstasy of finding someone to love?' To love someone takes a lot of courage. So how much more is one challenged when the love is of the same sex and the laws say, 'I forbid you from loving this person'? more...

To make a difference is not a matter of accident...People CHOOSE to make a difference. more...

Live life as if it were created just for you. more...

We have it in us to be splendid. more...

We are here to love each other. That is why you are alive. That is what life is for. more...

Let us live so we do not regret years of inertia and ignorance, so when we die we can say all of our energy was dedicated to the noble liberation of the human mind and spirit, beginning with my own. more...

I'm convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. more...

I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine ... before she realizes she's reading. more...

I think I know that I deserve better. And so I try for better. I'm never so put off that I would ever walk out of a place not having tried the best I could. more...

The woman who survives intact and happy must be at once tender and tough. more...

If you're for the right thing, you do it without thinking. more...

I did what I knew.. when I knew better, I did better more...

Pretty Women Wonder Where My Secret Lies, Im Not Cute Or Built To Fit A Fashion Models Size. more...

Yet it is only love which sets us free. more...

Tell the truth and not the facts. more...

Love builds up the broken wall and straightens the crooked path. Love keeps the stars in the firmament and imposes rhythm on the ocean tides. Each of us is created of it and I suspect each of us was created for it more...

It is only out of ignorance that people are cruel, because they really don't think it will come back. more...

Don't let anybody raise you. You've been raised. more...

The nice thing about HOPE is that you can give it to someone else, someone who needs it even more than you do, and you will find you have not given yours away at all. more...

Love liberates; it doesn't bind. more...

Hope does not take away your problems. It can lift you above them. more...

Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait. more...

The future is plump with promise. more...

Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? more...

Hold those things that tell your history and protect them. more...

One isn't born with courage. One develops it by doing small courageous things-in the way that if one sets out to pick up a 100-pound bag of rice, one would be advised to start with a five-pound bag, then 10 pounds, then 20 pounds, and so forth, until one builds up enough muscle to lift the 100-pound bag. It's the same way with courage. You do small courageous things that require some mental and spiritual exertion. more...

Time itself is an individual gift. It is wise to cherish it carefully and give it away generously. more...

Life sometimes gives you a second chance. more...

All of childhood's unanswered questions must finally be passed back to the town and answered there. Heroes and bogey men, values and dislikes, are first encountered and labeled in that early environment. In later years they change faces, places and maybe races, tactics, intensities and goals, but beneath those penetrable masks they wear forever the stocking-capped faces of childhood. more...

I'm very blessed that I have a healthy temper. I can become quite angry and burning in anger, but I have never been bitter. Bitterness is a corrosive, terrible acid. It just eats you and makes you sick. more...

I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music. more...

It is important that we learn humility, which says there was someone else before me who paid for me. My responsibility is to prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who is yet to come. more...

When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. more...

In a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, love exists. I'm grateful to know that it exists. more...

Laugh...It's the sweetest thing one can do for oneself and one's fellow human beings. more...

Would you deny your son or your daughter the ecstasy of finding someone to love? more...

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, the encountering may be the very experience which creates the vitality and the power to endure. more...

A person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dream. more...

Every day offers you 10,000 reasons to cry, but if you can find just one reason to laugh then you will be all right. more...

You may not remember what a person said to you, you may not remember what a person did to you, but you will never forget how a person made you feel! more...

Listen carefully to what country people call mother wit. In those homely sayings are couched the collective wisdom of generations. more...

Poetry is music written for the human voice. more...

Each of us has a responsibility for being alive: one responsibility to creation, of which we are a part, another to the creator a debt we repay by trying to extend our areas of comprehension. more...

At our best, we are all teachers more...

I want to be representative of my race-the human race. I have a chance to show how kind we can be, how intelligent and generous we can be ... more...

One isn't born with courage. One develops it by doing small courageous things. more...

Every Day you should reach out and touch someone more...

The best candy shop a child can be left alone in, is the library more...

As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else. more...

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That's why it's important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are more...

We must infuse our lives with art. Our national leaders must be informed that we want them to use our taxes to support street theatre in order to oppose street gangs. We should have a well-supported regional theatre in order to oppose regionalism and. more...

Shakespeare must be a black girl. more...

Take the blinders from your vision take the padding from your ears and confess you've heard me crying and admit you've seen my tears. more...

You build your 'COURAGE MUSCLE' daily, by being courageous in little things. Just do right.. more...

Let me tell so much truth. I want to tell the truth in my work. The truth will lead me to all. more...

Love is many things. It is varied. One thing love is not, is unsure. more...

I live in an atmosphere of music. more...

You think you may not be heard. Speak anyway. more...

When we decide to be happy we accept the responsibility to bring happiness to someone else. Some decide that happiness and glee are the same thing, they are not. When we choose happiness we accept the responsibility to lighten the load of someone else and to be a light on the path to another who may be walking in darkness. more...

Creativity or talent, like electricity, is something I don't understand but something I'm able to harness and use. more...

Give yourself time just to be with yourself. more...

The most noble cause known to man is the liberation of the human mind and spirit. more...

Each of us has the power and responsibility to become a rainbow in the clouds. more...

You can only become great at something you are willing to sacrifice for more...

You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage. more...

We need language to tell us who we are, how we feel, what we're capable of- to explain the pains and glory of our existence. more...

Forgiveness. It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. You are relieved of carrying that burden of resentment. You really are lighter. You feel lighter. You just drop that. more...

I am the dream and the hope of the slave more...

There's a place in you that you must keep inviolate. You must keep it pristine. Clean. So that nobody has a right to curse you or treat you badly. Nobody. No mother, father, no wife, no husband, no-nobody. You have to have a place where you say: 'Stop it. Back up. Don't you know I'm a child of God? more...

We are not our brother's keeper we are our brother and we are our sister. We must look past complexion and see community. more...

Life is a glorious banquet, a limitless and delicious buffet. more...

Dare to let your dreams reach beyond you. more...

Faith is the evidence of the unseen. more...

A single fantasy can transform a million realities. more...

Today, the first & last of every Tree/ Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River. more...

He was a simple man who had no inferiority complex about his lack of education, and even more amazing no superiority complex because he had succeeded despite that lack. more...

The devil lives in our mistakes, the lord lives in our rights. Who lives in our ignorance, and who wins after all? more...

Be wary when a naked person offers you his shirt more...

My mother raised me, and then freed me, more...

If more Africans had eaten missionaries, the continent would be in better shape more...

We are loved by Love itself. There is nothing good that we can't do. more...

We are only as blind as we want to be. more...

We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do. more...

I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being. more...

We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans - because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That's why we paint, that's why we dare to love someone- because we have the impulse to explain who we are. Not just how tall we are, or thin... but who we are internally... perhaps even spiritually. There's something, which impels us to show our inner-souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know. more...

I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at. more...

At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel. more...

If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be. more...

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women. more...

Words are things. You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance. Don't do that. Some day we'll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you. more...

I'm grateful for being here, for being able to think, for being able to see, for being able to taste, for appreciating love - for knowing that it exists in a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, and yet love exists. I'm grateful to know that it exists. more...

What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain. more...

'God put the rainbow in the clouds, not just in the sky'... It is wise to realize we already have rainbows in our clouds, or we wouldn't be here. If the rainbow is in the clouds, then in the worst of time, there is the possibility of seeing hope... We can say 'I can be a rainbow in the cloud for someone yet to be.' That may be our calling. more...

Original thinking migrates each day in search of nourishment. more...

Soft you day, be velvet soft, My true love approaches, Look you bright, you dusty sun, Array your golden coaches. Soft you wind, be soft as silk My true love is speaking. Hold you birds, your silver throats, His golden voice I'm seeking. Come you death, in haste, do come My shroud of black be weaving, Quiet my heart, be deathly quiet, My true love is leaving. more...

I answer the heroic question, 'Death, where is thy sting?' with 'It is in my heart and mind and memories. more...

Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood. more...

This is a wonderful day, I have never seen this one before. more...

We are missing Michael. But we do know we had him, and we are the world. more...

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his. more...

One must know not just how to accept a gift, but with what grace to share it. more...

Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening. more...

If we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls. more...

Love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free. A Brave and Startling Truth. more...

Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls. more...

I love living. I love that I'm alive to love my age. There are many people who went to bed just as I did yesterday evening and didn't wake this morning. I love and feel very blessed that I did. I love, too, that I know a little more today than I did yesterday, or I simply know it more profoundly. more...

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. 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 some things back. more...

I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn't just hold-that's ego. Love liberates. It doesn't bind. Love says, 'I love you. I love you if you're in China. I love you if you're across town. I love you if you're in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I'd like to have your arms around me. I'd like to hear your voice in my ear. But that's not possible now, so I love you. Go.' more...

Modesty is a learned affectation. It's no good. Humility is great, because humility says, 'There was someone before me. I'm following in somebody's footsteps.' more...

To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow. more...

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right. more...

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." more...

I try to live what I consider a "poetic existence." That means I take responsibility for the air I breathe and the space I take up. I try to be immediate, to be totally present for all my work. more...

A mother's love liberates. more...

At our best, we're all teachers more...

If you're going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can't be erased. more...

I have heard it said that winter, too, will pass, that spring is a sign that summer is due at last. See, all we have to do is hang on. more...

No one has ever become poor from giving. more...

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. more...

Through the centuries, we faced down death by daring to hope. more...

I don't trust any revolution where love is not allowed. more...

Freedom is never free. more...

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats... more...

A woman needs someone she can trust, someone who laughs when she laughs, but who has different ideas so she can learn from and teach to them. She needs someone who will stand up with her and encourage her to be a woman-not just a female. See where you are, admit what you know, and what you need, and search for a sister friend. more...

In order to be profoundly dishonest, a person must have one of two qualities: either he is unscrupulously ambitious, or he is unswervingly egocentric. more...

We need to haunt the house of history and listen anew to the ancestors' wisdom. more...

We will sometimes have defeats in life but you can have defeats without being defeated, you could fail without being a failure. When you see failure and defeats as merely part of the process to get to when. more...

Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay. more...

We need Joy as we need air. We need Love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share. more...

On this platform of peace, we can create a language to translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other. more...

You can't get too high for somebody to bring you down. more...

Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins. more...

remember this: When you cross my doorstep, you have already been raised. With what you have learned...you know the difference between right and wrong. Do right. Don't anybody raise you from the way you have been raised. Know you will have to make adaptations, in love, in relationships, in friends, in society, in work, but don't let anybody change your mind. more...

Home is a refuge not only from the world, but a refuge from my worries, my troubles, my concerns. I like beautiful things around me. I like to be beautiful because it delights my eyes and my soul is lifted up. more...

Light and shadow are opposite sides of the same coin. We can illuminate our paths or darken our way. It is a matter of choice. more...

Human beings are more alike than unalike, and what is true anywhere is true everywhere, yet I encourage travel to as many destinations as possible for the sake of education as well as pleasure. more...

Therefore we pledge to bind ourselves to one another, to embrace our lowliest, to keep company with our loneliest, to educate our illiterate, to feed our starving, to clothe our ragged, to do all good things, knowing that we are more than keepers of our brothers and sisters. We are our brothers and sisters more...

Sometimes all you need in love is to make each other happy, to make each other laugh. So long as you can still do that ten years down the line then I think you're gold. Never let the laughter slip from your relationship. more...

I am always talking about the human condition and about American society in particular: what it is like to be human, what makes us weep, what makes us fall and stumble and somehow rise and go on from darkness into darkness and that darkness carpeted. more...

Shelter Network's programs and services are a rainbow in the clouds for homeless children and adults. more...

The difference between charity and philanthropy is the distance of the soul... To be philanthropic is to give something, to be charitable is to give one's own heart. more...

If you have done the best you can do and if you have gotten all you could extract from something, you have given all you had to give, then the time has come when you can do no more than say thank you and move on. more...

Beneath the skin, beyond the differing features and into the true heart of being, fundamentally, we are more alike, my friend, than we are unalike. more...

Every experience shapes your writing, being stuck in a car on a lonely bridge, or dancing at a prom, being the it girl on the beach, all of those things influence your life, they influence how you write, and the topics you choose to write about. more...

Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. more...

Step off the road. Build yourself a brand new path. more...

If you have, give. If you learn, teach. more...

I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. more...

Your life is much more important that you can imagine... it is your first treasure. more...

One must learn to care for oneself first, so that one can then dare to care for someone else. more...

Courage is the most important of all the virtues, without it, you can practice no other. more...

Hope is born again in the faces of children. more...

If God put the rainbows right in the clouds themselves, each one of us in the direst and dullest and most dreaded and dreary moments can see a possibility of hope ... Each one of us has the chance to be a rainbow in somebody's cloud. more...

Laugh and dare to try to love somebody, starting with yourself. You must love yourself first, of course, and you must protect yourself so that nobody overrides you, overrules you, or steps on you. Just say, 'Just a minute. I'm worth everything, dear.' more...

I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'Well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. more...

Creativity or talent, like electricity, is something I don't understand but something I'm able to harness and use. While electricity remains a mystery, I know I can plug into it and light up a cathedral or a synagogue or an operating room and use it to help save a life. Or I can use it to electrocute someone. Like electricity, creativity makes no judgment. I can use it productively or destructively. The important thing is to use it. You can't use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have. more...

The breezes of the West African night were intimate and shy, licking the hair, sweeping through cotton dresses with unseemly intimacy, then disappearing into the utter blackness. more...

Reality has changed chameleonlike before my eyes so many times that I have learned, or am learning, to trust almost anything except what appears to be so. more...

Blacks concede that hurrawing, jibing, jiving, signifying, disrespecting, cursing, even outright insults might be acceptable under particular conditions, but aspersions cast against one's family call for immediate attack. more...

Home is that youthful region where a child is the only real living inhabitant. Parents, siblings, and neighbors are mysterious apparitions who come, go, and do strange unfathomable thing in and around the child, the region's only enfranchised citizen. more...

In an unfamiliar culture, it is wise to offer no innovations, no suggestions, or lessons. more...

Education is a process that goes on 'til death. The moment you see someone who knows she has found the one true way, and can call all the others false, then you know you're in the company of an ignoramus. more...

We must create a climate where people agree that human beings are more alike than unalike. The only way to do that is through education. more...

My pride had been starched by a family who assumed unlimited authority in its own affairs. more...

My people had used music to soothe slavery's torment or to propitiate God, or to describe the sweetness of love and the distress of lovelessness, but I knew no race could sing and dance its way to freedom. more...

Without defeats, how do you really know who the hell you are? If you never had to stand up to something - to get up, to be knocked down, and to get up again - life can walk over you wearing football cleats. But each time you do get up, you're bigger, taller, finer, more beautiful, more kind, more understanding, more loving. Each time you get up, you're more inclusive. More people can stand under your umbrella. more...

We agreed that great men and women should be forced to live as long as possible. The reverence they enjoyed was a life sentence, which they could neither revoke nor modify. more...

We can only know where we're going if we know where we've been. more...

Human beings are more alike than unalike. Whether in Paris, Texas, or Paris, France, we all want to have good jobs where we are needed and respected and paid just a little more than we deserve. We want healthy children, safe streets, to be loved and have the unmitigated gall to accept love. If we are religious, we want a place to perpetuate God. If not, we want a good lecture every once in a while. And everyone wants someplace to party on Saturday nights. more...

jealousy is conceived only in insecurity and must be nourished in fear. more...

moderation in all things. And even moderation in moderation. Don't get too much moderation, you know? more...

Always in the black spirituals there's that promise that things are going to be better, by and by. more...

All riddles are blues, / And all blues are sad, / And I'm only mentioning / Some blues I've had. more...

The music was my friend, my lover, my family. more...

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a woman called by a devaluing name will only be weakened by the misnomer. more...

Being physically close to extreme power causes one to experience a giddiness, an intoxication. more...

You may not get what you paid for, but you will pay for what you get. more...

I've tried to be totally present, so that when I'm finished with a piece of work, I'm finished. ... The work, once completed, does not need me. The work I'm working on needs my total concentration. The one that's finished doesn't belong to me anymore. It belongs to itself. more...

I certainly do not adore the writer's discipline. I have lost lovers, endangered friendships, and blundered into eccentricity, impelled by a concentration which usually is to be found only in the minds of people about to be executed in the next half hour. more...

You never get over the fear of writing. more...

Don't face the day until you've faced God. more...

Oh, the holiness of being the injured party. more...

Poetry helps my soul escape its encasement. more...

Difficult is a far cry from impossible. The distance between these two lies hope. Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay. more...

I suggest that the great art belongs to all people, all the time-that indeed it is made for the people, by the people, to the people. more...

When I try to describe myself to God I say, "Lord, remember me? Black? Female? Six-foot tall? The writer?" And I almost always get God's attention. more...

I write because I am a Black woman, listening attentively to her people. more...

I also wear a hat or a very tightly pulled head tie when I write. I suppose I hope by doing that I will keep my brains from seeping out of my scalp and running in great gray blobs down my neck, into my ears, and over my face. more...

Y'all dropped the ball and you should be shamed. more...

You can't use up creativity, creative thinking builds on itself and increases the creativity of the thinker...You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. more...

The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as heck we should never teach. more...

By no amount of agile exercising of a wistful imagination could my mother have been called lenient. Generous she was; indulgent never. Kind, yes, permissive, never. In her world, people she accepted paddled their own canoes, pulled their own weight, put their own shoulders to their own plows and pushed like hell. more...

I'm a writer and writers either have good memories or nothing at all. more...

I have no modesty. Modesty is a learned affectation. It's like decal stuck up on a person. more...

There is a world of difference between facts and the truth. You can have so many facts that you don't deal with the truth. You never get to the truth. You have the places where, the people who, the times when, the reasons why, the methods how - blah blah. And never get to the human truth. The human truth is as elusive as the air. And as important as the air. more...

I'm a positive thinker and actor. I look at a glass; a negative person sees the glass and says: too bad it's half empty... I look at the same glass and say: Hallelujah!! It's half full!!! more...

I believe that people want the scent of love, more than anything else. And I don't mean sentimentality, I don't mean mush. I mean that idea, that human beings are more alike than we are different. And that means that I can love you. I don't mean support you in bad things you do, that I can understand because you're a human being. more...

My hope is that we develop enough courage to develop courage. To try to have, try to learn to treat each other fairly, with generosity and kindness. more...

Poetry and music are the best at the highest level of the human mind. Out of poetry, out of their need for poetry, human beings have developed the idea of God. And so when we sing, when we dance, when we speak poetry we are speaking out of God's mouth, each other out of the music from God's heart. more...

We can be better, we can be wiser, we can be more kind. Yes we have to change. We have to grow up and stop acting like 10 years old. Yes there is much to do, much to see, much to go into. more...

If we live long enough, we may even get over war. I imagine a time when somebody will mention the word war and everyone in the room will start to laugh. And what do you mean war? more...

Happiness is a chance to talk to a friend, to hear good music, to have a good glass of wine. Happiness is a chance to be myself and to find people with whom I agree or who I don't agree but I can learn something. more...

I think the more we know the better we are. I mean not just facts. The more we know about each other, the closer we are to learn something about our selves. more...

The subject of the poem usually dictates the rhythm or the rhyme and its form. Sometimes, when you finish the poem and you think the poem is finished, the poem says, "You're not finished with me yet," and you have to go back and revise, and you may have another poem altogether. It has its own life to live. more...

Depending on who I am talking about or who's talking through me - if the person is a kind of hip-hop, or rhythm and blues person, or if the person is a kind of old-fashion gothic, meaning gothic attitude, then that will determine what form the poem will take. more...

I think all poems are commissioned. They just come to me without somebody outside commissioning them. The idea comes and I will live with them 'til I get it as close to what I mean. I've never been totally satisfied. I've come close a few times. more...

I like to go back and read poems that I wrote fifty years ago, twenty years ago, and sometimes they surprise me - I didn't know I knew that then. Or maybe I didn't know it then, and I know more now. more...

There are those who say that poets should use her and his art to change the world. I'd agree with that, but I think everybody should do that. I think the chef and the baker and the candlestick maker - I think everybody should be hoping to make it a better world. more...

I believe everything is energy. I believe that the meal you serve yourself, you prepare, is energy. And if you serve it to your family, it's your gift of energy to them. more...

My son is the best thing that ever happened to me. And through me - to a lot of people. more...

I think we ought to give ourselves more time. We should be more patient with ourselves and with each other. more...

Even here in America, we felt the cool, refreshing breeze of freedom when Nelson Mandela took the seat of Presidency in his country where formerly he was not even allowed to vote. We were enlarged by tears of pride as we saw Nelson Mandela's former prison guards invited, courteously, by him to watch from the front rows his inauguration. more...

Strictly speaking, one cannot legislate love, but what one can do is legislate fairness and justice. If legislation does not prohibit our living side by side, sooner or later your child will fall on the pavement and I'll be the one to pick her up. Or one of my children will not be able to get into the house and you'll have to say, "Stop here until your mom comes here." Legislation affords us the chance to see if we might love each other. more...

In Stamps the segregation was so complete that most Black children didn't really, absolutely know what whites looked like. more...

Then the question began to live under my blankets: How did lesbianism begin? What were the symptoms? The public library gave information on the finished lesbian-and that woefully sketchy-but on the growth of a lesbian, there was nothing. I did discover that the difference between hermaphrodites and lesbians was that hermaphrodites were "born that way." It was impossible to determine whether lesbians budded gradually, or burst into being with a suddenness that dismayed them as much as it repelled society. more...

Oh, the holiness of always being the injured party. The historically oppressed can find not only sanctity but safety in the stateof victimization. When access to a better life has been denied often enough, and successfully enough, one can use the rejection as an excuse to cease all efforts. After all, one reckons, "they" don't want me, "they" accept their own mediocrity and refuse my best, "they" don't deserve me. more...

I made the decision to quit show business. Give up the skintight dresses and manicured smiles. The false concern over sentimental lyrics. I would never again work to make people smile inanely and would take on the responsibility of making them think. more...

A Woman in Harmony with her Spirit is like a river flowing ... more...

Most people don't grow up. It's too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. more...

Life offers us tickets to places which we have not knowingly asked for. more...

It's wonderful that whenever Patsy Cline's name is mentioned, people's voices fall and they become right sentimental. And, rightly so. more...

I would welcome a friendship with Lynne Hinton. I would welcome an invitation to sit down at her table, but mostly I would welcome her next book. more...

If you have a song to sing, who are you not to open your mouth and sing to the world? more...

Nothing hurts more than realizing they meant everything to you, but you meant nothing to them. more...

Rainbows are people whose lives are bright, shining examples for others. more...

I come as one, but stand as 10,000. more...

My mother is so full of joy and life. I am her child. And that is better than being the child of anyone else in the world. more...

Living a life is like constructing a building: if you start wrong, you'll end wrong. more...

Just do right. Right may not be expedient, it may not be profitable, but it will satisfy your soul. It brings you the kind of protection that bodyguards can't give you. So try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity. Take up the battle. Take it up. It's yours. This is your life. This is your world. more...

Only equals make friends, every other relationship is contrived and off balance. more...

We need to remember to teach our children that solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone; at times it is positively to be wished for.....In the silence we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves to ourselves, and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God. more...

Open your eyes to the beauty around you, open your mind to the wonders of life, open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself. more...

Being free is being able to accept people for what they are, and not try to understand all they are or be what they are. more...

When the human race neglects its weaker members, when the family neglects its weakest one - it's the first blow in a suicidal movement. more...

Sometimes guns really matter. Protecting those who need protection - children, women, minorities in rough parts of town, old folks living in places where cops aren't nearby. Guns are true empowerment for the powerless. more...

When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time. more...

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't Complain more...

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: "I'm with you kid. Let's go. more...

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope. more...

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

Creativity or talent, like electricity, is something I do' understand but something I'm able to harness and use. While electricity remains a mystery, I know I can plug into it and light up a cathedral or a synagogue or an operating room and use it to help save a life. Or I can use it to electrocute someone. Like electricity, creativity makes no judgment. I can use it productively or destructively. The important thing is to use it. You ca' use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have. more...

Y"all dropped the ball and you should be shamed. more...

Just do right. Right may not be expedient, it may not be profitable, but it will satisfy your soul. It brings you the kind of protection that bodyguards ca' give you. So try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity. Take up the battle. Take it up. It's yours. This is your life. This is your world. more...

Look heavenward and speak the word aloud. Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud. Peace. more...

I want to be a good human being. I'm doing my best, and I'm working at it. more...

If I'm here, I'll be trying to be a better human being, a better writer, a better friend and a better beloved. more...

I've learned that forgiving is one of the greatest gifts that I can give myself. more...

When I forgive other people, I let them go, I free them from my ignorance. And as soon as I do, I feel lighter, brighter and better. more...

I try to see every day as a celebration. more...

Every day I awaken I am grateful. My intent is to be totally present in that day. And laugh as much as possible. more...

The only way you can be a mark is if you want something for nothing. If you're greedy, you're set up. more...

There's racism and sexism and ageism and all sorts of idiocies. But bad news is not news. We've had bad news as a species for a long time. We've had slavery and human sacrifice and the holocaust and brutalities of such measure. more...

When people see the laughing face, even if they're jealous of it, their burden is lightened. But do it first for yourself. Laugh and dare to try to love somebody, starting with yourself. more...

It's hard because people think they have something to lose and the truth is they have everything to gain in trying to love somebody. more...

Everybody is worth everything. more...

Dr. [Martin Luther] King was a human being. He had a sense of humor which was wonderful. more...

It is very dangerous to make a person larger than life because, then, young men and women are tempted to believe, well, if he was that great, he's inaccessible, and I can never try to be that or emulate that or achieve that. more...

Martin Luther King was a human being with a brilliant mind, a powerful heart, and insight, and courage and also with a sense of humor. So he was accessible. more...

I don't think modesty is a very good virtue, if it is a virtue at all. A modest person will drop the modesty in a minute. It's a learned affectation. more...

Those who have something to say accept the fact that that's lonely. One already knows that there will be adversaries. more...

Intelligence is a separate gift, for the benefit of students, so that they may think of themselves as intellectual and not very intelligent, or intelligent and not very intellectual. One hopes, of course, that they try to bring the two virtues, the two elements, into their lives at the same time. more...

I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. So at this wonderful, young age of 65, I don't know yet what the Lord has for me to do. I try to live up to the energy and to the calling, but I wouldn't dare say I have even scratched the surface yet. more...

The most difficult thing in the world, it seems to me, is to realize that I am a child of God; to keep that in my mind all the time. more...

People feel guilty. And guilt is stymieing. Guilt immobilizes. Guilt closes the air ducts and the veins, and makes people ignorant. more...

It is better to control oneself, if one can, and not hit back. But on certain occasions, it is imperative to defend oneself. I don't think it's fair to ask anybody not to defend herself or himself. more...

If somebody is really trying to take your head off with a baseball bat - I don't know how long you're supposed to stand there and turn the other cheek, so he or she can get a better angle at taking your head off. more...

Because of technological breakthroughs, the society will need fewer and fewer unskilled laborers. more...

You can't really know where you are going until you know where you have been. more...

I do hope that young men and women will start to think for themselves and start to take responsibility for their own thoughts. more...

My heart is so heavy when I see the reality of the Indian reservation and as an American, I know I am, too, responsible. more...

If a person - any human being - is told often enough, "You are nothing. You are nothing. You account for nothing. You count for nothing. You are less than a human being. I have no visibility of you", the person finally begins to believe it. more...

One of the saddest things in the world is to see a cynical young person. more...

If you happen to fall in love with someone in another race, it's more difficult, because you have to translate yourself. more...

It's very hard for adults to maintain respect and romance so that a love affair can be sustained over years. more...

Try, start always at home. This is my encouragement to all writers, start at home. All virtues and vices begin at home, and then spread abroad. more...

The truth is very important. No matter how negative it is, it is imperative that you learn the truth, not necessarily the facts. I mean, that, that can come, but facts can stand in front of the truth and almost obscure the truth. It is imperative that students learn the truth of our history. more...

It is imperative that young white men and women study the black American history. It is imperative that blacks and whites study the Asian American history. more...

Don't hesitate to learn the most painful aspects of our history, understand it. more...

When you know you are of worth, you don't have to raise your voice, you don't have to become rude, you don't have to become vulgar; you just are. And you are like the sky is, as the air is, the same way water is wet. It doesn't have to protest. more...

You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking. more...

Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. more...

People will forget what you said People will forget what you did But people will never forget how you made them feel. more...

I am capable of what every other human is capable of. This is one of the great lessons of war and life. more...

You were a precious pearl How I loved to see you shine, You were the perfect girl. And you were mine. For a time. For a time. Just for a time. more...

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. more...

You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. more...

Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? more...

Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. more...

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. more...

I went to sleep last night And I arose with the dawn, I know that there are others Who're still sleeping on, They've gone away, You've let me stay, I want to thank You. more...

Glory falls around us as we sob a dirge of desolation on the Cross and hatred is the ballast of the rock more...

We grow despite the horror that we feed upon our own tomorrow. We grow. more...

Petulant priests, greedy centurions, and one million incensed gestures stand between your love and me. more...

Visit us again, Savior. Your children, burdened with disbelief, blinded by a patina of wisdom, carom down this vale of fear. We cry for you although we have lost your name. more...

I have need of a friend. There is one and only one who will give the air from his failing lungs for my body's mend. And that one is my love. more...

We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life. more...

Love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free. A Brave and Startling Truth. more...

It is possible and imperative that we discover A brave and startling truth. more...

We are missing Michael. But we do know we had him, and we are the world. more...

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again. more...

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. more...

Every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. more...

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. more...

It's in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. more...

I answer the heroic question Death, where is thy sting? with It is here in my heart and mind and memories. more...

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. more...

Talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it. You can plug into it and light up a lamp, keep a heart pump going, light a cathedral, or you can electrocute a person with it. more...

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you. more...

I try to live what I consider a poetic existence. That means I take responsibility for the air I breathe and the space I take up. I try to be immediate, to be totally present for all my work. more...

Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead and... if the future road looms ominous or unpromising... then we need to gather our resolve and... step off... into another direction. more...

Here on the pulse of this new day, You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, into Your brother's face, your country And say simply, Very simply, With hope, Good Morning. more...

I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition - about what we can endure, dream, fail at, and still survive. more...

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. more...

Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone. more...

[Work is] something made greater by ourselves and in turn that makes us greater. more...

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Do' make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people ca' take their eyes off of you. more...

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. more...

I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed. more...

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. more...

Each of us has the right and the responsibility to asses the road which lie ahead and those over which we have traveled, and if the feature road looms ominous or unpromising, and the road back uninviting-inviting, then we need to gather our resolve and carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that one as well. more...

If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning Good morning at total strangers. more...

There is a difference between being convinced and being stubborn. I'm not certain what the difference is, but I do know that if you butt your head against a stone wall long enough, at some point you realize the wall is stone and that your head is flesh and blood. more...

I"ve got a magic charm That I keep up my sleeve, I can walk the ocean floor And never have to breathe. more...

To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. more...

What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks "the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,".... And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I'm writing, I write. And then it's as if the muse is convinced that I'm serious and says, "Okay. Okay. I"ll come. more...

When I was three and Bailey was four, we had arrived in the musty little town, wearing tags on our wrists which instructed - "To Whom It May Concern" - that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr., from Long Beach, California, en route to Stamps, Arkansas, c/o Mrs. Annie Henderson. more...

When we cast our bread upon the waters, we can presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another will profit from that grantor's gift. more...

Blacks should be used to play whites. For centuries we had probed their faces, the angles of their bodies, the sounds of their voices, and even their odors. Often our survival had depended on the accurate reading of a white man's chuckle or the disdainful wave of a white woman's hand. more...

Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, "Uh oh, they"re going to find out now. I"ve run a game on everybody and they"re going to find me out. more...

It's the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I'm a woman Phenomenally. more...

We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans - because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That's why we paint, that's why we dare to love someone- because we have the impulse to explain who we are. Not just how tall we are, or thin... but who we are internally... perhaps even spiritually. There's something, which impels us to show our inner-souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know. more...

Words are things. You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance. Do' do that. Some day we"ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you. more...

I'm grateful for being here, for being able to think, for being able to see, for being able to taste, for appreciating love - for knowing that it exists in a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, and yet love exists. I'm grateful to know that it exists. more...

Facts can obscure the truth. more...

Raising kids is like nailing Jell-O to a tree. more...

I keep hitting the escape button but I am still here! more...

Lord keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth. more...

Age is nothing; waking up is everything. more...

Its not where your dreams take you, its where you take your dreams. more...

I have forgiven myself; I'll make a change. Once that forgiveness has taken place you can console yourself with the knowledge that a diamond is the result of extreme pressure. Less pressure is crystal, less than that is coal, less than that is fossilized leaves or plain dirt. Pressure can change you into something quite precious, quite wonderful, quote beautiful and extremely hard. more...

To be human is to be challenged to be more divine. Not even to try to meet such a challenge is the biggest defeat imaginable. more...

Sisterhood means if you happen to be in Burma and I happen to be in San Diego and I'm married to someone who is very jealous and you're married to somebody who is very possessive, if you call me in the middle of the night, I have to come. more...

Look for the beauty in things. more...

Troubles are a blessing that force you to change, to believe. more...

Laugh as much as you can. more...

There is an amazing something in the American psyche which speaks about courage, and it says, 'Yes I can,' ... Yes, we will overcome it all because we have the spirit to do so. more...

[Librarians] study their field with as much determination and as much delight as open-heart surgeons. more...

The public library building, in my view, is just a little lower than the church, the cathedral, the temple, the synagogue and the mosque. Within those walls and along those stacks, I have found security and assurance. more...

Courage, I don't think anybody is born with courage. I think you may be born with a flair to braggadocio, you know. That's not courage. more...

My work is to be honest. My work is to try to think clearly, then have the courage to make sure that what I say is the truth. more...

My great blessing is my son, but I have daughters. I have white ones and Black ones and fat ones and thin ones and pretty ones and plain. I have gay ones and straight. I have daughters. I have Asian ones, I have Jewish ones, I have Muslim ones. more...

Living well is an art that can be developed. more...

Love liberates. It doesn't just hold, that's ego. Love liberates. more...

I am serious, so I laugh a lot. You need to laugh. You don't laugh enough. I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh. more...

The desire to reach hearts is wise more...

Not everything you do is going to be a masterpiece, but you get art there and you try and sometimes it really happens. The other times you're just stretching your soul. more...

In a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, love exists. I'm grateful to know that it exists. more...

We are not our brother's keeper we are our brother and we are our sister. We must look past complexion and see community. more...

When women take care of their health they become their own best friend. more...

We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better. more...

Just as hope rings through laughter, it can also shine through tears. more...

The truth will lead me to all. more...

You might encounter defeats but you must never be defeated... Love a lot. Laugh a lot at the silliest things and be very serious... love life. more...

And one of my absolute favorite quotes of all-time, one that I've adopted as one of my greatest life mottos: Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: "I'm with you kid. Let's go." more...

I am a very religious person, so it is the presence of God, the constant unwavering, unrelenting presence of God which continues to help me to keep a character which I am proud to show. more...

Putting down on paper what you have to say is an important part of writing, but the words and ideas have to be shaped and cleaned, cleaned as severely as a dog cleans a bone, cleaned until there's not a shred of anything superfluous. more...

The autobiographer looks at life through the lens of his or her own life and really uses herself or himself as the jumping-off place to examine the social mores and the economic and political climates. In a way, the autobiography becomes history as well as the story of one person, for it becomes the story of a family or the story of the state or nation. more...

Christians already? It seems to me that it takes a lifetime of work. more...

The most important thing is to DARE. more...

Money and power can liberate only if they are used to do so. They can imprison and inhibit more finally than barred windows and iron chains. more...

You can only accomplish what I really love. Do not take the money as a goal. Instead, pursue the things you passionate about, and do good to others can not take my eyes off you more...

And I not only have the right to stand up for myself, but I have the responsibility. I can't ask somebody else to stand up for me if I won't stand up for myself. And once you stand up for yourself, you'd be surprised that people say, "Can I be of help?" more...

Thank you, always say thank you; it's the greatest gift you can give someone; because thank you is what you say to God. more...

Continue to plant a kiss of concern on the cheek of the sick and the aged and infirm and count that actions as natural and to be expected. more...

I am convinced that most people do not grow up ... our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias. more...

Just because I am wheelchair-bound doesn't mean I don't get around. more...

All God's children need traveling shoes. more...

I do not think of myself as unusually creative. I think we all come from the creator, each human being streaming with the glory. So each one of us is creative. more...

If our children are to approve of themselves, they must see that we approve of ourselves. more...

I'm a spring leaf trembling in anticipation. more...

Never, never let a person know you're frightened. And a group of them ... absolutely never. Fear brings out the worst in everybody. more...

The black kids, the poor white kids, Spanish-speaking kids, and Asian kids in the US - in the face of everything to the contrary, they still bop and bump, shout and go to school somehow. Their optimism gives me hope. more...

The woman who truly intends to live a good life is already living phenomenally since intent is part of the achievement. more...

The writer has to take the most used, most familiar objects - nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs - ball them together and make them bounce, turn them a certain way and make people get into a romantic mood; and another way, into a bellicose mood. I'm most happy to be a writer. more...

A societies needs determines their ethics more...

Have enough courage to love. more...

If we are honest and fair, then we are known by that. If we are not, alas, we are known by that as well. What we want to do is do right, but you have to say it, you have to show it, and not stop. more...

I keep on dying, Because I love to live more...

Everybody in the world wants the same thing...to be needed...a job that he/she can do well...to love somebody...Everybody...There's no mystery. more...

When we come to it We must confess that we are the possible We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world, that is when, and only when we come to it more...

Do not be wedded forever to fear, yoked eternally to brutishness. more...

Love liberates. Love - not sentimentality, not mush - but true love gives you enough courage that you can say to somebody, "Don't do that, baby." And the person will know you're not preaching but teaching. more...

Mostly, what I have learned so far about aging, despite the creakiness of one's bones and cragginess of one's once-silken skin, is this: Do it. By all means, do it. more...

Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. more...

My grandmother told me that every good thing I do helps some human being in the world. I believed her 50 years ago and still do. more...

It may in fact be utterly impossible to be successful without helping others to become successful. more...

To know and not to do is in fact not to know. We need to be active instruments against evil. We need to do. more...

The trouble for the thief is not how to steal the chief's bugle, but where to blow it. more...

Difficult is a far cry from impossible. The distance between these two lies hope. Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay. more...

People don't always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you make them feel. more...

Whether you are happy or whether you are sad, it is wise to remember you are really in process. more...

If you do not like anything, alter it. If you can not change it, adjust your mindset. Will not complain. more...

I believe that quality level is determined primarily by the actual design of the product itself, not by quality control in the production process. more...

When Great Trees Fall When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken. Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves. And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed. more...

A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself more...

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. more...

Caged Bird A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. 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 bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. 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 bird sings of freedom. more...

In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine. more...

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

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities. more...

Whining is not only graceless, but can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood. more...

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 bird sings of freedom. more...

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. more...

The human heart...tells us that we are more alike than we are unalike. more...

While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated. more...

I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise. more...

I hope that I may always desire more than I can accomplish. more...

History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again. more...

The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power. The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic admiration. more...

Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it; to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other. more...

Segregation shaped me; education liberated me. more...

If you only have one smile in you, give it to the people you love. more...

It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A pyramid of flesh with the whitefolks on the bottom, as the broad base, then the Indians with their silly tomahawks and teepees and wigwams and treaties, the Negroes with their mops and recipes and cotton sacks and spirituals sticking out of their mouths. The Dutch children should all stumble in their wooden shoes and break their necks. The French should choke to death on the Louisiana Purchase (1803) while silkworms ate all the Chinese with their stupid pigtails. As a species, we were an abomination. All of us. more...

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. more...

We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. more...

You should never make someone a priority who views you as an option. more...

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

It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning. more...

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. more...

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible...We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. more...

I find relief from the questions only when I concede that I am not obliged to know everything. I remind myself it is sufficient to know what I know, and that what I know, may not always be true. more...

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

I had given up some youth for knowledge, but my gain was more valuable than the loss more...

In all my work what I try to say is that as human beings we are more alike than we are unalike. more...

There are some nights when sleep plays coy, aloof and disdainful. And all the wiles that I employ to win its service to my side are useless as wounded pride, and much more painful. more...

My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring, still. more...

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

I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. more...

Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins. This book has been written to examine some of the ways love heals and helps a person to climb impossible heights and rise from immeasurable depths. more...

We are missing Michael. But we do know we had him, and we are the world. more...

I speak to the Black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition-about what we can endure, dream, fail at and survive. more...

Let nothing dim the light that shines from within more...

Achievement brings it own anticlimax. more...

Oh, Black known and unknown poets, how often have your auctioned pains sustained us? Who will compute the lonely nights made less lonely by your songs, or by the empty pots made less tragic by your tales? If we were a people much given to revealing secrets, we might raise monuments and sacrifice to the memories of our poets, but slavery cured us of that weakness. more...

Those are facts, but facts, to a child, are merely words to memorize. more...

Imagine, I might really become somebody. Someday. more...

I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias. We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do. more...

The city became for me the ideal of what I wanted to be as a grown-up. Friendly, but never gushing, cool but not frigid or distant, distinguished without the awful stiffness. more...

I did then what I knew best, when I knew better, I did better. Maya Angelo more...

One person, with good purpose, can, constitute the majority. more...

The epitome of sophistication is utter simplicity. more...

This bed yawns beneath the weight of our absent selves. more...

Graduation, the hush-hush magic time of frills and gifts and congratulations and diplomas, was finished for me before my name was called. The accomplishment was nothing. The meticulous maps, drawn in three colors of ink, learning and spelling decasyllabic words, memorizing the whole of The Rape of Lucrece - it was for nothing. Donleavy had exposed us. We were maids and farmers, handymen and washerwomen, and anything higher that we aspired to was farcical and presumptuous. more...

While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of mans humanity to a man. more...

Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening more...

No,nobody but nobody can make it out her alone. more...

If we lose love and self respect for each other,this is how we finally die more...

I hope you always find a reason to smile more...

Love is a condition so powerful; it may be that which pulls the stars in the firmament. It may be that which pushes and urges the blood in the veins. Courage: you have to have courage to love somebody because you risk everything - everything. more...

I am never proud to participate in violence, yet, I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves, that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed. more...

Poetry is music for the human voice. Until you actually speak it or someone speaks it, it has not come into its own. more...

All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us all that we are more alike than we are unalike. more...

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter their color; equal in importance no matter their texture. more...

Cotton rows crisscross the world And dead-tired nights of yearning Thunderbolts on leather strops And all my body burning Sugar cane reach up to God And every baby crying Shame a blanket of my night And all my days are dying more...

I was basically good. Not understood, and not even liked, but even so, just, and better than just. I was merciful. more...

You only are free when you realize you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all. more...

Although there was always generosity in the Negro neighborhood, it was indulged on pain of sacrifice. Whatever was given by Black people to other Blacks was most probably needed as desperately by the donor as by the receiver. A fact which made the giving or receiving a rich exchange. more...

Few, if any, survive their teens more...

You saw me bludgeoned by circumstance. Lost, injured, hurt by chance. I screamed to the heavens....loudly screamed.... Trying to change our nightmares into dreams... more...

Whenever I began to question whether God exists, I looked up to the sky and surely there, right there, between the sun and moon, stands my grandmother, singing a long meter hymn, a song somewhere between a moan and a lullaby and I know faith is the evidence of things unseen. And all I have to do is continue trying to be a Christian. more...

A Conceit< Give me your hand Make room for me to lead and follow you beyond this rage of poetry. Let others have the privacy of touching words and love of loss of love. For me Give me your hand. more...

All I got to do is stay black and die. more...

The naturally lonely person does not look for comfort in love, but accepts the variables as due course. more...

Very few people grow up more...

There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. more...

On this platform of peace, we can create a language to translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other. more...

Many believe that they need company at any cost, and certainly if a thing is desired at any cost, it will be obtained at all costs. We need to remember and to teach our children that solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone, at times it is positively to be wished for. It is in the interludes between being in company that we talk to ourselves. In the silence we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves, and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God more...

The needs of a society determine its ethics, more...

Miss Kirwin was that rare educator who was in love with information. I will always believe that her love of teaching came not so much from her liking for students but from her desire to make sure that some of the things she knew would find repositories so that they could be shared again. more...

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it more...

She said that I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. more...

The word philanthropy was taken from the two Greek words, philo -lover of; and anthro - mankind. So, philanthropists are lovers of humanity. They build imposing edifices for people to work in and to play in. They give huge sums of money to support organizations which offer better health and education to the society. They are the principal patrons of the arts. The mention of philanthropy elicits smiles, followed by the sensation of receiving unexpected good fortune from a generous but faceless source. more...

In order to avoid this bitter end, we would all have to be born again, and born with the knowledge of alternatives. Even then? more...

Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage means we face our fears. more...

Like most children, I thought if I could face the worst danger voluntarily, and triumph, I would forever have power over it. more...

I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise. They shield themselves with an aura of unavailableness (for which after a time they begin to take credit) largely as a defense tactic. more...

Seek the fashion which truly fits and befits you. You will always be in fashion if you are true to yourself, and only if you are true to yourself. more...

I can be changed by what happened to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it. more...

We must re-create an attractive and caring attitude in our homes and in our worlds. If our children are to approve of themselves, they must see that we approve of ourselves. If we persist in self-disrespect and then ask our children to respect themselves, it is as if we break all their bones and then insist that they win Olympic gold medals for the hundred-yard dash. Outrageous. more...

The Black woman in the South who raises sons, grandsons and nephews had her heartstrings tied to a hanging noose. Any break from routine may herald for them unbearable news. more...

The only way out of something is all the way through it. more...

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. more...

the true nature of the human heart is as whimsical as spring weather. All signals may aim toward a fall of rain when suddenly the skies will clear. more...

I was liked, and what a difference it made. more...

I think that everyone thought that the Depression like everything else, was for the white-folks, so it had nothing to do with them. more...

You may encounter many defeats. But you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from and how you can still come out of it. more...

The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself more...

There is a true yearning to respond to the singing river and wise rock. more...

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. more...

Rev. King continued, chanting, singing his prophetic litany. We were one people, indivisible in the sight of God, responsible to each other and for each other. We, the black people, the most displaced, the poorest, the most maligned and scourged, we had the glorious task of reclaiming the soul and saving the honor of the country. We, the most hated, must take hate into our hands and by the miracle of love, turn loathing into love. We, the most feared and apprehensive, must take fear and by love, change it into hope. We, who die daily in large and small ways, must take the demon death and turn it into Life. His head was thrown back and his words rolled out with the rumbling of thunder. We had to pray without ceasing and work without tiring. We had to know evil will not forever stay on the throne. That right, dashed to the ground, will rise, rise again and again. more...

not only was cleanliness next to Godliness, dirtiness was the inventor of misery. more...

If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present... gratefully. more...

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning. more...

The man who is a bigot, is the worst thing God has got, except his match, his woman, who really is Ms. Begot. more...

He was away in a mystery, locked in the enigma that young Southern Black boys start to unravel, start to try to unravel, from seven years old to death. The humorless puzzle of inequality and hate. more...

Independence is a heady draft, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more. more...

Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it. more...

Although I had no regrets, I told myself sadly that growing up was not the painless process one would have thought it to be. more...

I believe the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity, is daring to dare. more...

At fifteen, life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice. more...

When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. more...

Although nature has proven season in and season out that if the thing that is planted bears at all, it will yield more of itself, there are those who seem certain that if they plant tomato seeds, at harvesttime they can reap onions. Too many times for comfort I have expected to reap good when I know I have sown evil. My lame excuse is that I have not always known that actions can only reproduce themselves, or rather, I have not always allowed myself to be aware of that knowledge. Now, after years of observation and enough courage to admit what I have observed, I try to plant peace if I do not want discord; to plant loyalty and honesty if I want to avoid betrayal and lies. Of course, there is no absolute assurance that those things I plant will always fall upon arable land and will take root and grow, nor can I know if another cultivator did not leave contrary seeds before I arrived. I do know, however, that if I leave little to chance, if I am careful about the kinds of seeds I plant, about their potency and nature, I can, within reason, trust my expectations. more...

Try to be a rainbow in someones cloud There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. more...

It was the awakening summer of 1960 and the entire country was in labor. Something wonderful was about to be born, and we were all going to be good parents to the welcome child. Its name was Freedom. Then, more...

Without willing it, I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware. more...

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women more...

There was a possibility that God really did love me, me Maya Angelou. I suddenly began to cry at the gravity and grandeur of it all. I knew that if God loved me, then I could do wonderful things, I could try great things, learn anything, achieve anything. For what could stand against me, since one person, with God, constitutes the majority? more...

We must recreate an attractive and caring attitude in our homes and in our worlds. If our children are to approve of themselves, they must see that we approve of ourselves. more...

He watched her every move and when she left the room, his eyes allowed her reluctantly to go. more...

Life was cheap and death entirely free. more...

Before he could bring his lips together, his teeth fell, no, actually his teeth jumped, out of his mouth. more...

Of course I could drive. Idiots and lunatics drove cars. Why not the brilliant Marguerite Johnson? more...

Turning off or tuning out people was my highly developed art. The custom of letting obedient children be seen but not heard was so agreeable to me that I went one step further: Obedient children should not see or hear if they chose not to do so. I laid a handful of attention on my face and tuned up the sounds in the church. more...

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it. more...

Believe people when they tell you who they are. They know themselves better than you. more...

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feed are tied so his opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant ill for the caged bird sings of freedom. from Caged Bird more...

Because I was really white and because a cruel fairy stepmother, who was understandably jealous of my beauty, had turned me into a too-big Negro girl, with nappy black hair, broad feet and a space between her teeth that would hold a number-two pencil. more...

drinks on the closed-in porch. The exactness of her more...

If someone shows you the first time who they are, believe them. more...

I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind. more...

If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. more...

Later he explained that when a person is beating you you should scream as loud as possible; maybe the whipper will become embarrassed or else some sympathetic soul might come to your rescue. more...

I really saw clearly, and for the first time, why a mother is really important. Not just because she feeds and also loves and cuddles and even mollycoddles a child, but because in an interesting and maybe an eerie and unworldly way, she stands in the gap. She stands between the unknown and the known. more...

We need the courage to create ourselves daily, to be bodacious enough to create ourselves daily - as Christians, as Jews, as Muslims, as thinking, caring, laughing, loving human beings. I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honorable. more...

~We may encounter many defeats but we must NOT be defeated~ more...

Long after people forget what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel. -Tim Sanders more...

she must provide a blanket of stability, which warms but does not suffocate, and she must tell her children the truth about the power of white power without suggesting that it cannot be challenged. more...

I may never be known as a philanthropist, but I certainly am a lover of mankind, and I will give freely of my resources. more...

This is the role of the mother, and in that visit I really saw clearly, and for the first time, why a mother is really important. Not just because she feeds and also loves and cuddles and even mollycoddles a child, but because in an interesting and maybe an eerie and unworldly way, she stands in the gap. She stands between the unknown and the known. In Stockholm, my mother shed her protective love down around me and without knowing why people sensed that I had value. more...

Sugar cane reach up to God And every baby crying Shame the blanket of my night And all my days are dying more...

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how truly amazing you are more...

The wise woman thinks twice and speaks once or, better yet, does not speak at all. more...

It is imperative that a woman keep her sense of humor intact and at the ready. She must see, even if only in secret, that she is the funniest, looniest woman in her world, which she should also see as being the most absurd world of all times. more...

The idea of overcoming is always fascinating to me, because few of us realize how much energy we have expended just to be here today. more...

If we lose love and respect for each other, this is how we finally die. more...

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be more...

Will I be less dead because I wrote this poem or you more because you read it long years hence. more...

I'm working at trying to be a Christian and that's serious business. It's like trying to be a good Jew, a good Muslim, a good Buddhist, a good Shintoist, a good Zoroastrian, a good friend, a good lover, a good mother, a good buddy it's serious business. It's not something where you think, Oh, I've got it done. I did it all day, hotdiggety. The truth is, all day long you try to do it, try to be it, and then in the evening if you're honest and have a little courage you look at yourself and say, Hmm. I only blew it eighty-six times. Not bad. more...

I believe what I have to say is important, and I believe the people coming to hear me are important, and so the occasion of itself alone has an importance, which forces me to stare down my nerves. more...

I think we have systematically and critically harmed ourselves and many young people by advising them not to try things. more...

I was told many years ago by my grandmother who raised me: If somebody puts you on a road and you don't feel comfortable on it and you look ahead and you don't like the destination and you look behind and you don't want to return to that place, step off the road. more...

If the door has been opened and I've been invited, or if I'm not invited and I somehow know I'm supposed to go in there, I put myself together and go in, praying all the while. I try to learn something before I go in. I try to show some respect of the place I'm going into. more...

If I'm going to a new country, I try to learn something about the language and the culture, so I don't just go bumbling over things. more...

I have great respect for the past. more...

I have respect for the past, but I'm a person of the moment. more...

I'm here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I'm at, then I go forward to the next place. more...

I'm a descendant of someone bought and sold, and brought in 1619 in what was to become the United States... more...

There is a lot of ignorance, and I don't mean intellectual ignorance. I mean people think that if you get something, it will take away from what I have. It's just ignorance. more...

Nobody can enjoy unless we all enjoy, truly enjoy. more...

People trying to separate people rather than bring us together... please. You don't just see it in America. It's all over the world. more...

I get up in the morning, and I'm reluctant to turn on the television. more...

I like to know what's happening. more...

I've lived many places on the planet, and I still have friends in many places. more...

Nathaniel Hawthorne once said that easy reading is damn hard writing. more...

All people in the world - who are not hermits or mutes - speak words. They speak different languages, but they speak words. They say, "How are you" or "I'm not feeling well" all over the world. These common words - these common elements that we have between us - the writer has to take some verbs and nouns and pronouns and adjectives and adverbs and arrange them in a way that sound fresh. more...

I never have written every day. When I'm writing a book, I write Monday through Friday. I always try to take Saturday and pretend to have some sanity. more...

Sunday, if I'm lucky, I'll go to church or listen to some good spiritual advice on the television or on the radio. I take three or four baths to try to cleanse myself, so I'm fresh for Monday. more...

I go to a hotel and try to get there by 5:30 in the morning. I keep a dictionary, a thesaurus, a bible, a deck of playing cards, a bottle of sherry, and stacks of yellow sticky pads. I shut myself in for six, seven hours. I have an arrangement with the hotel that no one may go in my room. After three or four months, they might slip notes under my door like, "Dear Ms. Angelou, please let us change the linens. We think they might be molding." It's probably true. I let them in if they promise not to touch anything other then the bed. more...

I married a man once and we had been married over a year before I found he preferred potatoes. I said, "I didn't know you loved potatoes." And he said that until he was about 13, he thought rice was potato seeds. more...

Growing up at my grandmother's table, she always had rice. She might do something as exotic as potatoes or spaghetti, but there was still always rice, just in case you needed a little rice fix. more...

My doctor told me that I really should lose some weight. "You're mildly obese," he said. And I thought, "Well, who couldn't afford to lose 20 or 30 pounds?" He said, "Well, a person in your category." I said, "What is that category, doctor?" He said, "Well, you're what I call upwardly middle aged." And I said, "I forgive you for everything." more...

I like good food. People want a certain taste, but when they're offered something else, they'll overeat. If they really are looking for chicken and someone gives them pork chops, they'll say, "I will have another." And that's because their satisfaction is not reached. So I thought I would make great food, but eat less of it. I tried it and I've taken off over 40 pounds. more...

The country didn't get that way in a week; we've had years and years of getting behind in our economy. So President [Barack] Obama stepped into a hellhole and people wanted him to change it as soon as he came in. But he's got his adversaries to deal with in the House and Senate, so it's not easy. more...

I'm really saddened by the attempts to separate and polarize. This is a time when we have hungry people, people out of work, and people out of spirit. This is a time where we need to uplift, not to separate. more...

In the 16th century, [Niccolo] Machiavelli - in an attempt to get back in the good graces of the powerful - wrote a slim volume called The Prince. In that book he showed the powers that be how to control the people. That book is a statement: separate and rule, divide and conquer. That's five hundred years ago and it still works, because we allow ourselves to be lead around with holes through our noses. more...

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. more...

If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love. more...

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. more...

Hope for the best, be prepared for the worse. Life is shocking, but you must never appear to be shocked. For no matter how bad it is it could be worse and no matter how good it is it could be better. more...

People will never forget how you made them feel. more...

I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect. more...

I am not competing with anyone other than myself. I want to be excellent at whatever I do. more...

A joyful spirit is evidence of a grateful heart. more...

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. more...


Maya Angelou Quotes About Friendship Maya Angelou Maya Angelou Hate Quote 5 Senses Maya Angelou Quote Maya Angelou Quote About Creativity Maya Angelou Don't Complain Maya Angelou Success Quotes Maya Angelou Quote Maya Angelou Quote Maya Angelou Quote Famous Quotes by Maya Angelou Maya Angelou Educational Quotes Maya Angelou Quote Stamp Maya Angelou Strong Women Quotes Maya Angelou Quote Trying to Be Normal Maya Angelou Quote Maya Angelou Quote Maya Angelou Change Quote Maya Angelou Quote Maya Angelou My Mission in Life Quote Maya Angelou I've Learned That Maya Angelou Quote Maya Angelou Quotes About Change Maya Angelou Inspirational Quotes Maya Angelou Maya Angelou Quote On Creativity

Privacy, Terms & DMCA | Contact
Copyright © 2015, Like Success, All rights reserved.