Gabriela Herstik
Updated April 04, 2017
Jack Sotomayor/ Getty

Here at HelloGiggles, nothing makes us more giddy than celebrating the incredible legacy of women who have helped to shape the world. Whether they’re poets, activists, artists, or politicians, women really do make this world worth living in.

And today is a very special day because it’s the birthday of the legendary Maya Angelou, author and activist extraordinaire. Her autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, was the first nonfiction best-seller by an African American woman, with Maya being one of the first women of color to publicly discuss their lives. Beyond this, her career spanned more than five decades and included films, literature, television, and plays. Angelou’s wisdom is evident in everything she does, comforting those who need it.

To celebrate the icon, we’ve rounded up our eleven favorite Maya Angelou quotes. Enjoy!

1This necessary reminder:

2On rising from the ashes:

3On the necessity of compassion and style:

4On the blessing of a new beginning:

5On the struggles that make you:

6We’re screaming YAS to this:

7On being your own #girlboss:

8On being comfortable alone:

9Speaking the truth about our differences:

10On taking your time:

11On the importance of sharing your story:

Happy birthday Maya. Today — and everyday — we are thankful for you!