“I don’t think the word disappointment quite makes it. I was surprised. I know Common is brilliant. He may in fact be close enough to be called a genius. I’m not sure,” said Angelou. “I know that we’re all in process, and young artists are in process. It’s important to realize that all of you - all of us - I’m 83 years old so I’m almost out of the running.”
Angelou cited Machiavelli in explaining how her relationship with Com couldn’t be ruptured.
“There was a statement made by Machiavelli in the 15th Century. He said if you want to control the people, separate them, you can rule them. Divide them and you can conquer them. I will not be divided from Common by anybody’s imagination.”