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" 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. "
" My grandmother took me to church on Sunday all day long, every Sunday into the night. Then Monday evening was the missionary meeting. Tuesday evening was usher board meeting. Wednesday evening was prayer meeting. Thursday evening was visit the sick. Friday evening was choir practice. I mean, and at all those gatherings, we sang. "
" The terrorist action of 9/11 gave birth to President Obama's entry to the White House. Not directly, but indirectly. "
" Won't it be wonderful when black history and native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history. "
" That's the biggest gift I can give anybody: 'Wake up, be aware of who you are, what you're doing and what you can do to prevent yourself from becoming ill.' "
" Life loves the liver of it. "
" I was married a few times, and one of my husbands was jealous of me writing. "
" Politicians must set their aims for the high ground and according to our various leanings, Democratic, Republican, Independent, we will follow. Politicians must be told if they continue to sink into the mud of obscenity, they will proceed alone. "
" I don't know how much longer I'll be around. I'll probably be writing when the Lord says, 'Maya, Maya Angelou, it's time.' "
" We are braver and wiser because they existed, those strong women and strong men... We are who we are because they were who they were. It's wise to know where you come from, who called your name. "
" I think I have had so much blessing - I've had my brother, who was brilliant - I think my family came closest to making a genius when they made my brother - Bailey was just all of that. He loved me. "
" Fighting for one's freedom, struggling towards being free, is like struggling to be a poet or a good Christian or a good Jew or a good Muslim or good Zen Buddhist. You work all day long and achieve some kind of level of success by nightfall, go to sleep and wake up the next morning with the job still to be done. So you start all over again. "
" I'm a religious woman. And I feel I have responsibility. I have no modesty at all. I'm even afraid of it - it's a learned affectation and it's just stuck on me like decals. Now I pray for humility because that comes from inside out. "
" There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth. "
" 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. "
" Independence is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more. "
" I could fall in love with a sumo wrestler if he told stories and made me laugh. Obviously, it would be easier if someone was African-American and lived next door and went to the same church. Because then I wouldn't have to translate. "
" When the human race neglects its weaker members, when the family neglects its weakest one - it's the first blow in a suicidal movement. I see the neglect in cities around the country, in poor white children in West Virginia and Virginia and Kentucky - in the big cities, too, for that matter. "
" My greatest blessing has been the birth of my son. My next greatest blessing has been my ability to turn people into children of mine. "
" While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man's humanity to man. "
" Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. "
" The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are. "
" I keep a hotel room in my town, although I have a large house. And I go there at about 5:30 in the morning, and I start working. And I don't allow anybody to come in that room. I work on yellow pads and with ballpoint pens. I keep a Bible, a thesaurus, a dictionary, and a bottle of sherry. I stay there until midday. "
" I liked to write from the time I was about 12 or 13. I loved to read. And since I only spoke to my brother, I would write down my thoughts. And I think I wrote some of the worst poetry west of the Rockies. But by the time I was in my 20s, I found myself writing little essays and more poetry - writing at writing. "
" The language of all the interpretations, the translations, of the Judaic Bible and the Christian Bible, is musical, just wonderful. I read the Bible to myself; I'll take any translation, any edition, and read it aloud, just to hear the language, hear the rhythm, and remind myself how beautiful English is. "
" I would be stupid not to be on my own side. But I'm a human being, too. And I'm on the side of human beings, rather than on the side of crocodiles. "
" I like to speak on matters which matter to human beings, and almost everything matters to human beings. "
" I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. "
" I speak a number of languages, but none are more beautiful to me than English. "
" My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring still. "
" One of my lungs is half gone, and the other half, because I smoked for years, has a lesion. So I can't swim anymore and had the swimming pool covered over. Now it's what I call the dance pavilion, and so I and my friends sit out and put music on and watch people dance. "