“It was easy for me to be ridiculed and for both men and women to perceive that maybe I’m a bit crazy because I’m educated in the West and I have lost some of my basic decency as an African woman—as if being educated was something bad. That is something I had seen for a very long time: When people can’t use you, they ridicule what you represent. I was lucky that I understood that, because when one does not understand that, it is very easy to be broken and to be subdued.”
That is Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai in a 2005 conversation with Mother Jones, shortly after she won the Nobel Peace Prize. Maathai died on September 25th in Nairobi.