Human Family, a Poem by Maya Angelou Reminding Us We Are Family


Human Family, a Poem by Maya AngelouMaya Angelou, 1928–2014, was an American poet, civil rights activist and memoirist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.

Angelou received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees and is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences.

Below is a poem she wrote and included in her fifth collection of poetry, I Shall Not Be Moved, published in 1990. It really is a reminder to us that while we may come from many walks of life and that we could be born anywhere, we are still human and therefore very similar, but also connected.

We are more alike than we realise. We are a family.

Human Family

By Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family,
some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world,
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

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Editor of, Laron is a writer, healing facilitator, poet and spiritual teacher from New Zealand. A strong passion of his is to expand the consciousness of others through sharing information. Science tells us that we are all creating what we see as the observer — we are all creating our own truths within every moment. While being a bit of a bookworm, Laron also has a Diploma in Energetic Healing, is a Dolores Cannon trained QHHT Practitioner, Reiki Master, trained Crystal Healer and Tarot reader. You can find Laron on Facebook.

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