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Photo: Courtesy of Abrams Books
Our three favorite bits of wisdom from the new book Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World, by Crystal McCrary and Nathan Hale Williams. The gorgeous anthology includes first-person essays by a financier, a diplomat, an athlete, a TV writer, a singer, a ballerina, a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" winner, a Hollywood producer, and one very wise O editor at large.

"I'm blessed to still be doing this at 66, but I don't feel that I've gotten over my rainbow yet.... Each day I'm motivated by the fact that I know I can make somebody happy with my talent. I can still sing! I can still move! And I can still kick my shoes off! And hopefully I can be an inspiration to some young girl who says to herself, If that old lady can do it, I know I can!" —Patti Labelle, Grammy Hall-of-Fame Singer

"My greatest achievement is that I lead a positive life. A lot of people can't say that. To be able to live a positive life and to be spiritually balanced are the most important things to me. No matter what you achieve, if you're negative or unhappy, what's the point?" —Venus Williams, Tennis Champion

"It saddens me when women think there's not enough to go around, because there's more than enough. It's a big old pie. I believe that when you're good at what you do, it only makes me better." —Gayle King

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