Most of us were introduced to Maya Angelou early in our own education when we first read her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It’s only fitting that Angelou’s work ended up ensconced in American education. While she herself was a high school dropout, she became a professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University and had over 30 honorary degrees from various colleges. She was called “Dr. Angelou” by many. Poet, author, playwright, director, performer, actress, professor, producer, singer, and civil right’s activist, Dr. Angelou played many roles in life and gathered experience everywhere she went. In 2007, she told USA Today, “I have created myself…I have taught myself so much.”
Angelou was well known for learning from all aspects of her life, whether good or bad, and she shared those insights with others in the most inspiring ways. On Wednesday, May 28, 2014 our beloved songbird passed away at 86 years of age. But she left behind a legacy that no one can forget.
Maya Angelou was a force in education, and to honor her impact, we’ve chosen our favorite quotes from her that inspire us to always strive to learn and grow.
Dr. Maya Angelou’s words to live by:
- “Still I rise.”
- “When you know better, you do better.”
- “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
- “When you get, give. When you learn, teach.”
- “All great achievements require time.”
- “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
- “Segregation shaped me, education liberated me.”
- “All knowledge is spendable currency, depending on the market.”
- “Nothing will work unless you do.”
- “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
To you Dr. Angelou, thank you for a lifetime of giving the best of yourself and teaching us to do it, too.