On May 28 last year, influential author and poet Maya Angelou died at the age of 86. The famed writer, whose real name was Marguerite Annie Johnson, had numerous achievements throughout her life.
She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie.” She also earned a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1973 play "Look Away," and three Grammy awards for her spoken-word albums.
Aside from award nominations, she also made her mark on the White House. The inspirational author recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at former President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011.
1. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
2. “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
3. “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.”
4. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
5. “A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim.”
6. “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.”
7. “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.”
8. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
9. “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.”
10. “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
11. “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.”
12. "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
13. "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."
14. "I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates."
15. "It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody."
16. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
17. “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.”
18. “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
19. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
20. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”
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