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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

‘Akeelah and the Bee’ quote: not Nelson Mandela

Ahh, I love trolling for traffic. When I take a look at my site referrers — that is, the places online people come from to get to FlickFilosopher.com, or the phrases they’re searching on at Google and other search engines through which they find me — I see that a ton of people are coming here looking for a quote from the movie Akeelah and the Bee. But they’re not looking for the line from the film I singled out at my totally quotable page… nope, they want the inspirational quotation Laurence Fishburne’s teacher reads to Akeelah when she begins to have doubts about her audacity in aiming high. I’ve gotten a few emails now from people who want that quote, and because 1) I’m getting tired of answering these emails, 2) I found out something interesting about that quote, and 3) I’m a whore for traffic, I’ll post the whole damn thing here:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The interesting thing I discovered is that although the quotation is attributed in the film to Nelson Mandela, it was actually written by inspirational guru Marianne Williamson — see here for details. Go know.

And here’s the page-view whoring:

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