Maya Angelou

(1928 - 2014)

Beginning in her early teens during the 1940s, Maya Angelou (née Marguerite Johnson) worked in San Francisco as a cook, cocktail waitress, prostitute, and dancer; the last occupation provided her with her professional name. She has published numerous collections of poems, among them And Still I Rise and I Shall Not Be Moved, as well as six memoirs. She delivered her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.

All Writing

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.

—Maya Angelou, 1986

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.

—Maya Angelou, 1993

It’s good to remember that in crises, natural crises, human beings forget for a while their ignorances, their biases, their prejudices. For a little while, neighbors help neighbors and strangers help strangers.

—Maya Angelou, 2011

Issues Contributed