Maya Angelou, daughter of Vivian Baxter, reveals the life of a resilient spirit whose boldness led her to overcome terrible childhood obstacles. While growing up in California, Maya and her brother were sent away from their parents to live with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Here she came of age as one of few black students at the all-white Southern University in Baton Rouge.
As Maya Angelou navigates the tumultuous course of her young life, she is determined not to repeat her parents’ mistakes. This can-do spirit leads to a life-changing epiphany. From an early period of giving birth to herself, first as a gangly adolescent and then as an influential woman artist, Angelou gives us an intimate portrayal of motherhood and love.”
In this powerful, Oscar-winning documentary, award-winning director Barbara Kopple and photographer Albert Maysles explore the lives of three aging women. Vivian Baxter was a great blues singer known as “Black Velvet” and the love of her life, whom she met in Stamps, Arkansas. Joycelyn Elders was a black, female governor of Arkansas who made bold decisions during her tumultuous term in office that were considered politically risky. And Maya Angelou was born at Vivian’s knee to a mother plagued by drug addiction–and abandoned by an alcoholic husband–but hit hard times when Maya was only 18 months old.
About Mom & Me & Mom Book
For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence—a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas.
The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them.
Delving into one of her life’s most affluent, rewarding, and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women throughout their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou’s rise to the heights.