The world has lost from its surface another good soul who has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people on a huge, international scale.
Renowned author, poet and activist Maya Angelou has bid good bye to her supporters who were awed by her story of bravery & courage amid poverty.
The “Renaissance” woman and cultural pioneer peacefully died
Wednesday, May 28, at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was 86.
Her memoir is now recognized as one of the most read memoirs of recent years as she revealed her childhood life: born into poverty and segregation in 1928.
Apart from her sublime books, Maya Angelou is also one of the top and celebrated poets in the literary world’s history as she recited the most popular presidential
inaugural poem in history.
Back in 2013, Maya Angelou said “I’m not modest,” to the The Associated Press interviewer.
“I have no modesty. Modesty is a learned behavior.
But I do pray for humility, because humility comes from the inside out.”
People who have met her in person consider her as someone unforgettable due not only to her impressive talent and intelligence, but also because Maya Angelou was tall, regal, elegant and and a woman with a deep, majestic voice.
She was also an actress, singer and dancer from the 1950s to the 1960s.
Another thing to note about Maya Angelou is that her name was in fact just a reinvention.
She was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis but was raised in Stamps, Arkansas.
She and her mother moved back and forth to San Francisco with her grandmother.
And at a tender age of 7, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend.
She literally didn’t talk for years, so she only learned by reading, and listening.
Maya Angelou was also a fixed figure in Oprah Winfrey’s life.
The author, in fact, served as a mentor to Winfrey, the television icon.
She befriended Winfrey when Oprah was still a local television reporter.
Maya Angelou was also able to master several languages and published not just poetry but advice books, cookbooks and children’s stories.
Below are some of her unforgettable quotes and words of wisdom to live by:
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”.
“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”.
“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”.
“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”.
“Nothing will work unless you do”.
“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”.
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness”.
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope”.
“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”.
“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”.
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”.
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”.
“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible”.
“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”.’
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”.
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning”.
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength”.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
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.
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.
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love”.