Maya Angelou in Memoriam: An American Elder
Maya Angelou was raped as a child. Visiting her aunt and uncle, she was frightened to tell them about the rapist for fear her uncle would hurt this man. She decided to use her voice; she decided to tell. Some time afterwards a sheriff knocked on the door to report that they found the man dead. Maya (I think she was around 7 years old) concluded, in her child’s mind, that she was responsible. In response to the “deadliness of her voice” she decided not to speak. She didn’t use her voice for over 6 years. While I don’t think she killed this man; I do think there was immense power in her voice. Anyone who listened to her couldn’t help but be profoundly moved. The unfolding and life-giving power of that voice would change the course of millions.