Maya Angelou reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration in 1993 - William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum staff photographer/Wikimedia commons - Compiled by Egypt Today Staff
CAIRO – November 2017: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”― Maya Angelou
Born on April 4, 1928 in Missouri, the United States, Maya Angelou was an American poet, author, actress, singer, dancer and an influential figure as a civil rights activist.
She is most known for her book “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (1969), the first book of six autobiographical books. As for her poetic writings, her poetry collection titled “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Die” (1971) was nominated for a Pulitzer prize.
In her quote, Angelou is inviting us to consider how much effort one exerts in order to be prosperous, or how much one could struggle before eventually becoming successful. It suggests that maybe we should contemplate and appreciate the bigger picture of a person and how they came to be, or better yet, believe in ourselves and the changes we will go through before eventually achieving what we dream of.
● Maya won a scholarship to study dance and drama in San Francisco when she was around 12 years old.
● When she was 16 years old, Maya quit her high school studies briefly to become “America's first African-American cable car operator.”
● In 1961, she moved to Cairo and worked as the editor of the Arab Observer, one of the few English publications in the Middle East at the time, according to her book “The Heart of a Woman” (1981).
Another quote for the road:
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”