Maya Angelou Talks About Her Stepfather’s Long Con in a Rare 1970 Interview with Studs Terkel, Animated for PBS

In the most recent episode of the PBS animated series “Blank on Blank“, the illustrious poet and author Maya Angelou talks about her stepfather Daddy Clidell and a long con that he arranged against a racist shop owner in Tulsa, Oklahoma in a rare 1970 interview with the legendary Studs Terkel for WFMT radio.

There was a white man in the town… in Tulsa, who had just exploited all the Indians and the blacks, and if he hated anybody more than Indians, it was blacks. These two con men went down. They checked him out and decided to play him against the store. In a long con that’s when you set it up for two months, maybe, and spend a few thousand dollars. You have cards made, a telephone taken in, a secretary, everything, the whole front. One of the guys played very, very ignorant and very shuffling and went up to the man and said, “Look here. I got a friend who own a piece of land, you know. See he got it because he’s part Indian. Some white man, some Yankee want to buy that land because it’s got a toll bridge on it.” … Well, this white cracker, the southerner, the Oklahoman said, “He knows n—-rs.” That’s his attitude. So if this northerner is going to buy it for $70,000, he can buy it for less than that. Get the whole thing. So they made the deal.

Long Con

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.