Top 10 Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou(April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014), born Marguerite Annie Johnson, was an American actress, writer, and civil rights activist. Her best known work is her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Here are the Maya Angelou’s top ten most inspirational quotes:


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.

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Nothing will work unless you do.

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

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When you learn, teach. When you get, give.

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

woman holding phone near window during daytime


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.



You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise.

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You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Please remember that your difficulties do not define you. They simply strengthen your ability to overcome.

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If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.

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

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Thank you Maya Angelou!

Interesting Facts:

  • She wrote seven autobiographies. She describes her many jobs, including those working as a prostitute and madam, a cable car car conductor, a dancer, professor, cook, journalist, and writer.
  • She was nominated for a Tony Award and received three Grammy Awards.
  • In 2011, President Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • She was fluent in Arabic, English, Fanti, French, Italian, and Spanish.
  • She wrote for Hallmark cards and wrote some cookbooks too.

What are some of your favorite quotes?


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