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List A – Maya Angelou – Quotes


  1. A black person grows up in this country – and in many places – knowing that racism will be as familiar as salt to the tongue. Also, it can be as dangerous as too much salt. I think that you must struggle for betterment for yourself and for everyone.

  2. A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.

  3. A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.

  4. Achievement brings its own anticlimax.

  5. All great achievements require time.

  6. All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.

  7. All information belongs to everybody all the time. It should be available. It should be accessible to the child, to the woman, to the man, to the old person, to the semiliterate, to the presidents of universities, to everyone. It should be open.

  8. All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.

  9. All of us knows, not what is expedient, not what is going to make us popular, not what the policy is, or the company policy – but in truth each of us knows what is the right thing to do. And that’s how I am guided.

  10. And if a person is religious, I think it’s good, it helps you a bit. But if you’re not, at least you can have the sense that there is a condition inside you which looks at the stars with amazement and awe.

  11. 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.

  12. As far as I knew white women were never lonely, except in books. White men adored them, Black men desired them and Black women worked for them.

  13. At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself.

  14. At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.

  15. At one time in my life, from the time I was seven until I was about 13, I didn’t speak. I only spoke to my brother. The reason I didn’t speak: I had been molested, and I told the name of the molester to my brother who told it to the family.

  16. At one time, you could sit on the Rue de la Paix in Paris or at the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv or in Medina and you could see a person come in, black, white, it didn’t matter. You said, ‘That’s an American’ because there’s a readiness to smile and to talk to people.

  17. Autobiography is awfully seductive; it’s wonderful. Once I got into it, I realized I was following a tradition established by Frederick Douglass – the slave narrative – speaking in the first-person singular, talking about the first-person plural, always saying ‘I,’ meaning ‘we.’

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