Maya Angelou Tells Studs Terkel How She Learned to Count Cards & Hustle in a New Animated Video

Blank on Blank returns with anoth­er one of their visu­al­ly-dis­tinc­tive ani­mat­ed videos. This one lets us time trav­el back to 1970 when Studs Terkel, the great Amer­i­can author, his­to­ri­an, and radio broad­cast­er, sat down with acclaimed poet Maya Angelou. The inter­view took place short­ly after Angelou pub­lished her 1969 auto­bi­og­ra­phy, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and the con­ver­sa­tion turns, amus­ing­ly, to her child­hood years, when she learned how to hus­tle and count cards from her step father, Dad­dy Clidell. I bet Bukows­ki is applaud­ing wher­ev­er he is. Blank on Blank made this video in part­ner­ship with the Studs Terkel Radio Archive, which we fea­tured on our site late last year.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Maya Angelou Reads “Still I Rise” and “On the Pulse of the Morn­ing”

Studs Terkel Inter­views Bob Dylan, Shel Sil­ver­stein, Maya Angelou & More in New Audio Trove

Blank on Blank Ani­ma­tions Revive Lost Inter­views with David Fos­ter Wal­lace, Jim Mor­ri­son & Dave Brubeck

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Comments (3)
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  • corn says:

    There was­n’t a sin­gle ref­er­ence to count­ing cards. Why did your head­line lie?

  • Dan Colman says:


    I quote from the tran­script:

    Maya Angelou: Dad­dy Clidell owned pool halls and gam­bling hous­es. Dad­dy Clidell knew the rack­et. So he taught me how to look at cards and see if they were marked, how to weigh dice and know if they’re loaded. Then he brought in a lot of con men. Pro­fes­sion­al con men, who maybe take 2 marks a year.

  • Ronald Keaton says:

    What won­der­ful work here. Tak­ing two leg­ends and plac­ing a kind of atti­tude upon it that is absolute­ly appro­pri­ate, mak­ing it more acces­si­ble for new audi­ences. More please.

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