She Was Silent For Five Years – Until A Teacher Helped Her Find Her Voice

maya angelou in front of a microphone
L. Graciella Maiolatesi
December 20, 2021

At only eight years old, Maya Angelou was raped. The legal system convicted the man, but he was released from jail – and four days later he was murdered, presumably by Maya’s uncles.  

But what happened to Maya?

For years, Maya stopped speaking – believing her words had led to the man’s death. She didn’t know how to talk about her pain, so she bottled it up inside her, becoming a ghost of who she once was.

When Maya was 13, a kind teacher, Bertha Flowers, took an interest in her. She encouraged Maya to read and write poetry, until one day, she suggested Maya read a poem out loud. 

Terrified, Maya began reading the poem shakily, but once she started she couldn’t stop! Her voice poured out of her – and after five years she was finally free.

Today, as we raise Black children we must provide them with a safe environment and the necessary tools to talk about trauma, especially since white supremacy works to silence them.

Maya Angelou grew up to be a renowned activist, poet, and public speaker. She used her written works, like “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” to continue with her healing journey. 

We’re all impacted by trauma: white supremacy is built on it. But like Maya Angelou, we must be honest about our pain, take time to heal, and then move forward and thrive!

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: