Mary Black's powerful poem Quiet goes viral on Facebook

A Winnipeg aboriginal actor's spoken word poem Quiet is anything but silent on the internet. Mary Black says she had to get her feelings off her chest about everything from Child and Family Services to alcohol.

'I will not be quiet,' Mary Black begins in video viewed more than 83,000 times

Mary Black said "Quiet" is something she's wanted to get off her chest for some time

6 years ago
Mary Black said silence has plagued her community and the nation for sometime, but the popularity of her video which puts a voice to the issues around missing and murdered women, residential schools, sexual abuse and suicide show people can't be silent any longer. 3:48

Mary Black never expected a poem she wrote and recorded in an hour to spread like wildfire on social media.

Quiet begins with her saying "I will not be quiet," and outlines what she calls her truths about everything from Child and Family Services to sexual assault to suicide.

Black is an actress who is used to playing characters on stage, but Quiet is her own voice, she said.
Mary Black says her poem Quiet was something she had bottled up inside her. It's resonating with people across Canada and the U.S. (Mary Black/Facebook)

"I think it was just something that was sitting inside me for a really, really long time," Black said.

"I'm used to playing different people and different characters, so this time I was just wearing my own face and telling my own story and got so much support, and so I think telling the truth, it's important, it's necessary, it's very needed right now."

The video was first posted on her Facebook page in October, and recently it exploded, with views exceeding 83,000 in Canada and the U.S.

"What I was most surprised about," she said, is "people seem to be telling their own truths with this story and speaking about things that happened to them that they were silent about. It's getting reposted with people's personal stories about their own experiences with abuse or addictions, so I feel like it's really helped people along their healing journey."

Using her voice is like medicine, she said.

"I think that silence plagues our communities, and our nation, really," she said.

"Just recently, we as a nation, we pretended these things weren't as bad as they are and they don't exist, but they're so evident in so many communities."

Black will perform Quiet as part of the 2016 Cabaret of Monologues: Stolen Sisters put on by Sarasvati Transformative Productions for International Women's Week.

"It's really grown into something so much bigger than I had ever anticipated."