Huffpost Arts

The Most Important Lesson Maya Angelou Learned From Her Grandmother (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:

"When you learn, teach. When you get, give," is one of the best lessons Oprah says she learned from Dr. Maya Angelou.

During a during a profound "Oprah's Master Class" interview in January 2011, Dr. Angelou explained this lesson originally came from her grandmother, a woman who heavily influenced her life.

"She told me, 'Sister, when you get, give. When you learn, teach. These are lessons to live by,'" Dr. Angelou said.

Dr. Angelou was sent to live with her paternal grandmother at age 7, after she was sexually abused while living with her mother's family. She stopped speaking for six years because of the abuse, a time she later chronicled in her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She was called an "idiot" and a "moron," but her beloved grandmother always told her otherwise.

"'Mama know when you and the good Lord get ready, you're going to be a teacher,'" Dr. Angelou's grandmother told her. "'Sister, you're going to teach all over this world.'"

She was right. Dr. Angelou traveled the globe, speaking in venues across the United States and as far as Israel, Egypt, England and Rome. "And each time I have another honor, I think of my grandma," Dr. Angelou said.

"So, I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now," Dr. Angelou shared. "And to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn't just hold -- that's ego. Love liberates."

Dr. Maya Angelou's appearance on "Oprah's Master Class" re-airs this Sunday, June 1, at 9 p.m. ET on OWN, following a day of encore presentations honoring the late writer, poet, teacher and activist.

View the full schedule

Around the Web

Master Class By Oprah Winfrey Maya Angelou on Vimeo

Oprah Presents Master Class S01E03 Maya Angelou_在线视频观看 ...

Maya Angelou's Master Class Quotes -

Oprah on Why Maya Angelou Is the Quintessential Teacher - Video

OWN Honors Dr. Maya Angelou With Tribute This Sunday, June 1 ...

The Power of Words – A lesson from Master Class with Maya Angelou

Filed by Lynn Okura