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

by | Permalink | Comments (3) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (3)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • 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.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.