Today would have been the legendary Maya Angelou’s 89th birthday. Born Marguerite Johnson, young Angelou was raised by her grandmother, who taught her the importance of faith, family and honest work. Angelou carried these values with her through her incredible life and career as one of the most influential literary voices of our time. It was through her powerful words of truth, love and wisdom that Angelou inspired the world. To celebrate Maya Angelou’s birthday, watch the iconic poet and author share the best piece of advice she’s ever given and received with her mentee and friend, Oprah Winfrey.
“The best advice I’ve ever given — I hope — is that which I gave to my son when he was growing up. He said, ‘I don’t have any friends. How can I get some friends?’… I told him two things. I told him, ‘In order to get a friend, you have to be a friend…’ And also I told him, ‘There’s a place in you that you must keep inviolate. You must keep it pristine, clean, so that nobody has the right to curse you or treat you badly. Nobody. No mother, father, no wife, no husband, nobody.’”
Dr. Angelou, thank you for leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire and empower us all.