Remembering Dr. Maya Angelou: One of America’s Greatest Treasures

Yesterday, I learned of Dr. Maya Angelou’s passing en route to my children’s doctor’s appointments. As I schlepped toward the subway with two kids in tow, I got several back-to-back text messages from friends and family alerting me of her death.

After being in the pediatrician’s office for what seemed like an eternity and just being a busy mom in the evening, I didn’t have a chance to write about the prolific poet and author. In this fast-paced 24/7 news cycle, people may be on to the next big story, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Dr. Angelou’s legacy today.

I remember reading her autobiography, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” in elementary school like so many other young African-American girls and connecting to her story in ways I had never connected before. In fact, that book single-handedly made me fall in love with reading biographies and autobiographies (my favorite book genre).

Throughout the years, I’ve found myself quoting lines from her poems, speeches, books, etc.  Who hasn’t repeated one of her most famous quotes, “When a person shows you who they are, believe them the first time?” She had such a special way of making the most profound concepts seem so simple.

The late thought-provoking  activist and teacher’s wisdom will live on in our hearts and through her brilliant work forever. She was indeed a phenomenal woman!


Here are a few more popular Dr. Angelou quotes (via ABC News):

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”

“The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.”

“I’m a woman Phenomenally.”

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.”

“While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.”

“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.”

What’s your favorite Dr. Maya Angelou quote?

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