Prolific American author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died at 86.

She was known for her inspiring words that shed light onto the beauty and injustices of the world.

5. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

6. “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”

7. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

8. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

9. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

10. “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

11. “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

12. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

13. “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

MORE: Maya Angelou’s last tweet says it all

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