Don't worry about Barack Obama, says the chronicler of black history. He'll be re-elected. He deserves to be re-elected. But between now and November, it's going to get nasty.
"I think we are going to see a number of people who say: 'I have no racial prejudice in my heart, not in my conversation,'" Angelou says. "But in the next few months, as we wind up to the double campaign, I tell you we are going to see some nastiness, some vulgarity, I think. They'll pull the sheets off."
Obama has critics and doubters. Angelou, the sage of black America, now 83, has no time for them. "I think he has done a remarkable job, knowing how much he has been opposed," she says. "Every suggestion he makes, the Republicans en masse fight against him or don't vote at all." It's about him being a Democrat and being the first black president, she says....
Reflecting on that presidency, what did she expect? "I was hoping for the best. And I think I have gotten the best from him." What of his detractors? "Those are people who didn't see the morass into which he stepped."
He is America's president. But he also describes himself as America's first black president. That, says Angelou, speaking from her home in North Carolina, has had an extraordinary impact on black America. "His physical self, just being there, his photograph in the newspapers as president of the United States; that has done so much good for the spirit of the African American. We see more and more children wanting to be like President Obama, wanting to go to school.