Maya Angelou died at her Winston-Salem, North Carolina, home on Wednesday, May 28. She was 86. Her artistic achievements included working as an actress, dancer, poet, and novelist, while her cultural impact as a creative voice and civil rights activist spanned both the globe and generations.
Some of Angelou's more significant historical moments include the 1969 release of her first autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, working alongside iconic activists such as Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr., and reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at Bill Clinton's 1993 presidential inauguration.
But perhaps the most memorable parts of Angelou are the words she left behind. Here are the five most valuable life lessons we learned from her.
5. "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."
4. "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
3. "You shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back."
2. "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
1. "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."