Segments in this Video

The Mystery of the Creative Process (02:22)

We know that creative works have a role in society, but just how the creative process works is a mystery that science is attempting to unravel.

Creativity: When and How the Idea Comes (02:12)

Artist Gerald Scheck, inventor Harold Black, director John Huston reflect on the moment of creative inspiration.

Creative Minds: Strong Self Image (02:25)

Federal Express Fred Smith, Playwrite Samson Raphaelson,

Janus: God of Choices (03:06)

A scene from "All in the Family,"comments from inventor Jacob Rabinow, and a brainstorming session among school children demonstrate the many ways ideas come together. Creativity occurs when two ideas, usually unrelated come together in such a way that they create something new.

Maya Angelou: Creativity Beyond Talent and Technique (01:59)


Angelou reads a line from Shakespeare and expresses her reaction to his work. Moyers offers her credentials including civil rights activist in the '60s and the role of Kunta Kinte's grandmother in the miniseries "Roots."

"Too Many Ghosts" (04:27)

After thirty-year's absence, Maya Angelou reluctantly agrees to travel to her hometown Stamps, Arkansas with Moyers. As they near her hometown, Angelou reflects on the idea of home, a place she says one can never really leave.

Magic of a Small Town (02:00)

Maya Angelou lived with her grandmother and uncle in the rear of a general store. She shares with Moyers the sense of the exotic she felt about the products they sold--from places as near and far as Ohio or Portugal.

Encountering Oppression (01:27)

Farm laborers were picked up from the store daily, returning at dusk exhausted. Maya Angelou explains that she came to understand the way Blacks became meek when Whites entered the store. She recites Dunbar's "We Wear the Mask."

No Protection (03:31)

Maya Angelou lays out Black and White dividing lines of Stamps, including the pond where Black baptisms where held. She and other Blacks never felt safe outside the Black areas and she declines to cross into "White" Stamps with Moyers.

Power of the "Negro Spiritual" (05:47)

In a Stamps church Angelou shares a moment that music united her with people who did not speak English--so understood was the theme. She invites the congregation to sing "Steal Away" with her.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (03:06)

Angelou strolls a neighborhood with her childhood friend Louise, about whom she wrote, "Louise was a lonely girl." Louise has no real idea of Angelou's career and fame.

Stamps Town Lore (01:08)

Angelou demonstrates to Moyers how the town's history accumulates orally. Townspeople remember and internally "record" everything that happens. She teasingly explains how Moyers' and his film crew will be remembered.

Transported by Reading (02:20)

Angelou enjoyed Poe and related to Shakespeare's Sonnet 29: "When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state."

Angelou Remembers her Grandmother (03:21)

Angelou remembers her grandmother who was a respected woman in the community, yet White children violated her by the simple act of calling her by her first name. Angelou recalls the helplessness--and rage--this cultural reality raised in her.

Transcending Racism (02:58)

Angelou carries the emotional scars of a Black child who endured the loathing gazes of Whites. She fantasized about becoming White, but music and poetry allowed her to "transcend the pit."

A Community Remembers Angelou (03:15)

Maya Angelou offers encouragement to a woman who is leaving Stamps. She receives a scrap book from her childhood that was saved when the general store where she lived as a child was demolished.

Angelou's Period of Silence (04:52)

After being raped at age 7, Angelou quit speaking. During this time of silence, a woman took Angelou under her wing and helped cultivate her love of poetry. Angelou credits Mrs. Flowers with giving her back her "voice."

Angelou Encourages Stamps Schoolchildren (04:26)

Angelou wins over a classroom in Stamps. She recites "Harlem Hopscotch." Her message to them is that their minds can take them anywhere they want to go. "You have a chance," she says.

Conditions that Bring Creativity to Life (01:43)

Moyers speculates about how the seed of creativity is suppressed or germinates depending on circumstances. The gift of creativity needs luck and support to flourish.

Credits: Creativity with Bill Moyers: Maya Angelou (01:45)

Credits: Creativity with Bill Moyers: Maya Angelou

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Creativity with Bill Moyers: Maya Angelou

Part of the Series : Creativity with Bill Moyers
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Following acclaimed poet and memoirist Maya Angelou on a visit to her childhood surroundings in Stamps, Arkansas, this Bill Moyers interview remains a classic of broadcast journalism and a valuable teaching tool for African-American studies. “I was terribly hurt in this town,” Angelou tells Moyers, “and vastly loved.” She recalls her rapturous discovery of Shakespeare (while savoring a favorite sonnet’s opening line) and the power poetry gave her over the traumas of earlier years. She speaks to a hushed church congregation and a racially diverse elementary school class; she shares memories with long-lost friends and discusses family history with a wizened acquaintance of her grandmother. Gradually, viewers gain a glimpse of the relationship between Angelou’s origins, her creative process, and her prolific output. (59 minutes)

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL42076

ISBN: 978-1-62102-069-1

Copyright date: ©1982

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video customers.