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Today, April 4, marks the 90th birthday of author, writer, actress, and civil rights activist Marguerite Annie Johnson popularly known as Maya Angelou. The phenomenal woman is known for her writings that truly inspired a lot of women and men around the world to keep pushing forward and to fight for their own rights.

During her lifetime, Angelou received a lot of awards. She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 poetry collection entitled Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie. A Tony Award nomination was also given to Angelou for her role in the 1973 play Look Away. She also won three Grammy awards for her spoken-word albums On the Pulse Morning, Phenomenal Woman, and A Song Flung up to Heaven.

Aside from various recognitions from different universities and organizations around the world, Angelou also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2011. She died at the age of 86 in 2014.

As we celebrate Angelou’s contribution to the world, here are some of the most memorable quotes that we all need to keep in mind:

1. “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.”

2. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.”

3. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

4. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”

5. “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.”

6. “Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.”

7. “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.”

8. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

9. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

10. “So we mustn’t run out of steam. Sometimes young women think ‘Dammnnn, I’ve been doing this nine years and I don’t think anything has budged.’ But keep plugging away. Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success and then just get a little more.”

Photo from Maya Angelou | Website


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