International Women’s Day 2023- Who Inspires You?
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2023, Managing Partner, Fiona Moffat discusses who inspires her…
To celebrate International Women’s Day, my colleagues and I have taken the time to consider who inspires us. I have decided to choose Maya Angelo.
Who Is Maya Angelo?
Maya was born April 1928 and died May 2014.
She is an inspirational and multitalented activist, poet and singer. She is best know for her autobiography ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’. Her autobiography was written in 1969 and is her tale of how she overcame racism and trauma.
At the age of 3 Maya and her older brother were sent to live in Stamps, Arkansas with their grandmother and ends with Maya becoming a mother at 16 years of age. Maya was raped at the age of 8 by her mother’s boyfriend and her book describes a life of racist oppression and her fight to transform herself from a victim to a self-possessed dignified young woman.
Maya Angelou was an elective mute for five years following the murder of her rapist and immersed herself in literature such as Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe.
She went on to write 7 autobiographies in all and she was an actress on the large and small screen, a dancer, singer and poet! The American nation identified with her representation of her life as a young black woman in America striving for her independence and recognition.
Why Is Maya Inspirational To Me?
I recently saw her enjoying poems and songs of Robert Burns on a Burn’s night special programme in January. She was so knowledgeable about Robert Burns and his songs and was touched and moved by his poetry which can be quite impenetrable due to the 18th Century Scots language in which he wrote. It fired up my interest in her again and I was struck by how interested she was in everything and everyone and how her whole life had been devoted to effecting change.
One of her most famous quotes is:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.