Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
Maya Angelou, writer, poet and political activist, died last Wednesday. In her novel, I know why the caged bird sings (1969), she writes of her experience of sexual abuse and rape as a young child, putting into words what many were – and still are – forced to endure in silence.
The day after Maya Angelou’s death, I met up with a man I first knew as an acting student in Edinburgh. Now an actor and writer, Matty McVarish is currently walking around Europe to promote awareness of the widespread problem of child abuse. Having been abused himself as a child, Matty is meeting up with government ministers in every capital city and activating real political and legislative change.
Listening to Matty describing the places he’s visited, the people he’s met, the reactions he’s confronted (both good and terrifying) gave me goosebumps. Sitting beside a man who displays such courage, determination and conviction was extremely humbling. And it felt fitting to meet him again, the day after Maya Angelou’s death, to feel her fighting energy alive in him. What a timely reminder of how truly indomitable the human spirit is.