Happy Birthday Maya Angelou: 7 Quotes to Live By



April 4th 1928, civil rights activist, writer, phenomenal woman and legend Maya Angelou was born. Though she passed in 2014, Angelou’s legacy is never ending. Maya Angelou whose published works includes essays, poetry, scripts and autobiographies, she  provided a voice for many. Maya Angelou not only empowered herself but all black women. 



Maya Angelou managed to become a prolific writer despite many adversities. Her most notable works are her seven autobiographies which detail her life as a child and young adult.  “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is the first and arguably the most famous of the series. It describes traumatic experiences with rape, racism and existing in a male dominated world.

Through her writing, Angelou became a pillar of hope and inspiration for generations of black girls everywhere.  Although writing is what many first think of when Maya Angelou’s name is mentioned, her talents and passion were not limited to rhetoric. Throughout her life, Maya Angelou held many occupations including fry cook, sex worker, dancer and actress. Angelou was also a coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, international journalist and educator.

Maya Angelou is pivotal in black history and highly revered in the literary world. “I Know Why The Caged Bird sings” became the first nonfiction best seller by a Black women.  Her Pulitzer nominated “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die” is a poetry collection favorited by many.  Maya Angelou recited “On The Pulse Of The Morning” at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton and has won two NAACP image awards for her literary talents.

Maya Angelou, the official, unofficial spokesperson for the plight of black girls across the globe, Angelou was able to use words to illustrate the good, the bad and the ugly. Her poetry and lifestyle provide peace and encouragement for not only black girls but people of all walks of life. Today we say Happy Birthday to Maya Angelou. Thankful for the pieces of Angelou’s life that remain through literature and speeches, below are 7 Maya Angelou quotes to inspire uplift and encourage all.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud” - Maya Angelou

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated” -  Maya Angelou

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
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me. ”
― Maya Angelou
— Phenomenal Woman

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” -  Maya Angelou

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.” -  Maya Angelou

“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

"We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated"- Maya Angelou