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TheDailyBeast: Voices of Black History

Maya Angelou

"The needs of society determine its ethics, and in the black American ghettos the hero is the one who is offered only crumbs from his country’s table but by ingenuity and courage is able to take for himself a Lucullan feast. Hence, the janitor who lives in one room but sports a robin’s-egg-blue Cadillac is not laughed at but admired, and the domestic who buys forty-dollar shoes is not criticized but appreciated." -Maya Angelou (1928–), writer, civil-rights activist

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
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