Maya Angelou was born on April 4th, 1928 and passed away May 28, 2014 at the age of 86. She was an award winning poet, educator, producer, film maker, civil rights activist and much more. In 2013, she was also the recipient of the Literarian Award, an honorary National Book Award for contributions to the literary community.
The book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), which chronicles her childhood and ends with the birth of her son, would be considered Maya Angelou’s most famous work. It was nominated for a National Book Award and won immediate success and is highly praised.
The autobiography talks about her early years in Long Beach, St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas, and how Maya Angelou actually remained mute for five years. This was due to a traumatic experience when she was seven however during that time developed a deep love for language.
During the late 1950s, she had the opportunity to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak and being inspired by his message, she decided to become a part of the struggle for civil rights. She was not only recognized as a spokesperson for african americans and women, but was for all people who were committed to raising the moral standards of living in the United States.
These are some of her best inspiring quotes on love and relationships…
“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
“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.”
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
“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.'”
“When people show you who they are, believe them.”
“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.'”
“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”
“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”
“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.”
“I know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all.”
“Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.”
“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.”
“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.”
If you’re not familiar with the works of Maya Angelou, here are a few of her published books that you may wish to read…
I know why the caged bird sings – Maya Angelou
Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now – Maya Angelou
The heart of a woman – Maya Angelou
Life doesn’t frighten me – Maya Angelou
Which Maya Angelou quote is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!