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The Most Inspirational Quotes from Maya Angelou

A Phenomenal Woman Whose Powerful Words Lives On

One of America’s most beloved poets and authors, Maya Angelou became a powerful voice for women, people of color and really, the entirety of humankind.

In 1969 she released her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, to much acclaim. Amazingly it was the first of seven autobiographies she would write.

Perhaps her most famous poem is “Still I Rise” from 1978’s And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems as well as “Phenomenal Woman” from the same book, which also later appeared in the Janet Jackson movie “Poetic Justice.”

Maya Angelou was also an activist and a significant voice for the Civil Rights Movement. In later years, she became even more popular as a mentor to and frequent guest of Oprah Winfrey.

She also received the 2010 Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Although she passed away at the age of 86 on May 28, 2014, Maya Angelou’s legacy knows no end and remains a testament to the power of a life well lived.

“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.”

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

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Photo: Stephen Parker

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

“We need much less than we think we need.”

“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”

Charles Dharapak / AP

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”

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

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

Learn more about Maya Angelou

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Written by Mar Yvette

Mar Yvette is an on-air host, lifestyle expert, writer and editor with 10+ years of experience working with some of the world’s most recognized media companies.