Emma Watson: “I’m going to fight even harder for all the things I believe in”

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Moya Crockett
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As a Brit living in Manhattan, Emma Watson wasn’t able to vote in the US presidential election.

But just like the rest of us, the actress, UN Women global goodwill ambassador and HeforShe representative felt the emotional impact of Donald Trump’s victory.

Her strategy for coping? First, spread a little joy – then continue trying to make the world a more feminist place.

The actress, feminist activist and book lover tweeted: “Today I am going to deliver Maya Angelou books to the New York subway. Then I am going to fight even harder for all the things I believe in.”

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou is the November/December pick for Our Shared Shelf, the online book club Watson set up in January this year. She has been leaving copies of the 2013 memoir on public transport as part of the Books on the Underground initiative, which encourages people to read and share books on the tube.

Prior to taking to the New York subway with her bag of books, Watson had done the same thing on the London underground, leaving little notes in each copy.

Published a year before the legendary American writer’s death, Mom & Me & Mom is the last in Angelou’s series of autobiographies and focuses on Angelou’s difficult relationship with her mother, Vivian Baxter.

Baxter abandoned Angelou when she was a child, but the book shows how they were able to eventually reconcile.

Explaining why she chose Mom & Me & Mom for her book club, Watson said: “Vivian Baxter cuts a fiercely unapologetic figure, imperfect but admirable, and we discover not just how she had a hand in Angelou’s evolution as a black woman but also in her feminist perspective, her independence and self-awareness, all of which contributed to her unique way of looking at the world and the way she expressed herself on the page.”

“As a result, this is perhaps the greatest window into what shaped Angelou as a writer and poet and a fitting end to a lifetime of amazing works,” Watson continued.

In addition to continuing with her activism and spreading the literary love, Watson will next be seen as Belle in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. She recently revealed how she convinced Disney to give Belle a feminist makeover by creating a proper backstory for her. In the original 1991 cartoon, we are given little information about how Belle spends her time – apart from reading.

In the new film, Watson’s Belle will be an inventor who spends her time building machines to help women spend less time on housework. 

Image: Rex Features