Dr. Maya Angelou is many things: a poet, an actress, a teacher, a producer, a director, a mother, a daughter and a literary icon. But she is also a survivor of domestic abuse, she revealed in an interview with Oprah.
In this clip from "Super Soul Sunday," Dr. Angelou shares the shocking story of her abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, not only revealing an incident in which he beat her, but also alleging that he held her captive for several days before Dr. Angelou's determined and heroic mother, Vivian Baxter, came to her rescue. This story, which Dr. Angelou also shares in her latest book, "Mom & Me & Mom," shows just how courageous, passionate and powerful Vivian was, prompting Oprah to call it "the greatest story of all the stories."
Dr. Angelou says that a "loving" and "wonderful" man she had been dating picked her up after work one day and drove her to a romantic spot in San Francisco. "I thought we were at a romantic place out by the bay," Dr. Angelou says. "And he hit me with his fists -- and he had been a prize fighter. He hit me, he beat me. Sometimes I'd go unconscious."
The next thing she knew, Dr. Angelou had been driven to a restaurant, where the man showed off to other men what he had done. "He said, 'This is what you do to a b- who's cheating on you,'" Dr. Angelou recalls. What the man may not have realized was that the restaurant owner was a friend of Dr. Angelou's mother Vivian. The owner called Vivian to tell her what had happened to her daughter.
"My mother went to her pool hall [that she owned]... and got the baddest, most scarred-up people she could find and she said, 'I want you to come with me,'" Dr. Angelou tells Oprah.
What followed after they were able to locate a captive Dr. Angelou three days later was a dramatic rescue that prompts Oprah to say, "I wouldn't mess with Vivian Baxter!" Watch the video to see Dr. Angelou detail the rescue story in her own words.