ON OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
Pictured here: Dr. Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey at Harpo Studios in Chicago, IL
Photo Credit ©Harpo Inc.
Oprah’s conversation continues with beloved mentor and internationally acclaimed author, Dr. Maya Angelou. Discussing her latest book, “Mom & Me & Mom,” Dr. Angelou reveals how her tough, but tender-hearted, mother transformed her life.
A global Renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is hailed as one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Her most notable work, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, was recently named by TIME Magazine to be one of the “˜100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time.’ At age 85, Dr. Angelou continues to take the world by storm. In addition to her writing and speaking engagements, she remains ever-relevant and hip with an enlightening presence on Twitter.
In part two of this heart to heart conversation, Dr. Angelou returns with some of her greatest life lessons. Recently celebrating her 85th birthday, she shares her insights on aging brilliantly and living with gratitude. Dr. Angelou expresses how love has the ability to liberate each and every one of us. Plus, she shares the life-changing moment that continues to bring her to tears.
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Clip 1: Aging
Oprah: Tell me what you’ve learned yourself about the aging process. You know, because I think I learned this from you and what I wonderful mentor you have been for me, for aging with grace and appreciation and heart and just embracing it”¦and I see so many women around me, who, even as early as their forties and some even in their thirties, they’re-they’re trying to, you know, Botox themselves and, you know, change themselves and fighting it, just fighting it, fighting it all the way. And I always look at it as, just as you were saying, my God whatever age”¦I think about the people who didn’t make it.
Dr. Angelou: I know.
Oprah: As I sit here at 59, I think about all the people who didn’t make it to 59. And so, were you ever anxious about it? Were you ever “Oh, I can’t believe I’m turning 40. I can’t believe I’m 50.”
Dr. Angelou: I can’t remember ever being anxious about it, even when I was very young. Um, I mean I’ve always wanted to-to reach that other age. As far as I can remember, I thought that if I could live to be 20, you know, it was going to be really wonderful.
Oprah: And then 25.
Dr. Angelou: And then 30? My goodness, I was just gonna”¦it was a knockout. Every age, I’ve been grateful.
Clip 2: Guy Johnson, Dr. Angelou’s son
Oprah: When Guy was only two months old you moved out of the house and I love this story of what your mother said to you as you were leaving. She says, “All right, you go. But remember this. When you cross my doorstep, you have already been raised with what you’ve learned from your grandmother in Arkansas and what you’ve learned from me. You know the difference between right and wrong. Do right and don’t let anybody raise you from the way you’ve been raised. Know you’ll always have to make adjustments in love relationships, in friends, in society, in work, but don’t let anybody change your mind. And then remember this. You can always come home.”
Dr. Angelou: She did.
Dr. Angelou: She did. And she — whenever I’d go home, the world would throw me flat on my face with this little baby I’m trying to raise and work and sing songs and dance and I would go home to Vivian Baxter. She would act as if the best thing that’s ever happened. She’d call her friends. Girl, you can’t — you can’t believe it, the baby is home. I’m gonna cook this for her. She loves Spanish rice. I’m gonna cook that for her. Listen, don’t try to come over. I’m gonna have her to myself for at least three or four hours. Then you can come over. She never, ever made me feel that I’d done the wrong thing.
Oprah: I know. And even at 16 when you became pregnant she did not shame you.
Dr. Angelou: Not at all.
Oprah: She said we’re gonna have this beautiful baby.
Dr. Angelou: That’s right. She said do you know who the father is? I said yes. I only had sex with him one time but, but then he’s the only one. She said all right. Do you love him? No. She said, she asked me “Does he love you?” I said no. She said, we’re not gonna ruin three lives. We’re gonna have a beautiful baby.
Dr. Angelou: Yes, she did.
Dr. Angelou: And she loved my son. Yes. She was a knockout, Vivian Baxter.
Oprah: She was a knockout.