'Sunday Spotlight': Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou discusses her book, "Mom & Me & Mom" with ABC's Susan Saulny.
3:00 | 11/24/13

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Transcript for 'Sunday Spotlight': Maya Angelou
Our "sunday spotlight" shines this week on maya angelou, you see her there book award for for lifetime achievement in her speech the poet said that easy reading is damn hard writing. She finished a memory about her mom. She talked about that with abc's susan saulny. She was so beautiful. My brother and i, we would watch her carefully, as if she was a butterfly. Reporter: One of the pivotal moments in your life, according to the book, is when she told you, I think you're the best woman -- the greatest. She said baby, wait a minute, i think you're the greatest woman I ever met. I thought, suppose she's right? Suppose I'm going to be somebody? Goodness. Reporter: That love and respect was mutual. Dr. Angelou was overcome while reading us a passage about her mom's final moments. There has never been anyone greater than you as a mother of a young adult. She squeezed my hand twice. I can't read anymore. I can't. Thank you. She's still very much with me. I have a photograph of her in my bathroom, on the mirror, so each morning, I go there to brush my teeth, I see her smiling and looking at me and approving me. Reporter: What a wonderful way to start the day. What a wonderful day. She really thought that I with -- I was the bees' niece. Reporter: Maya told us how she managed to find in a challenging moment. You were out with a boyfriend, and he turned on you and kicked and punched and you were almost dead? Yes, he beat me. How did you find the strength to overcome those kind of things? Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It's not for the other person. I released the man from my care. I don't drag him around. By not forgiving him. You must forgive, it's for your own sake, to rid yourself of that weight. Reporter: That's the answer? That's the answer. Reporter: But before she found her voice as an activist, and author, dr. Angelou had a different passion, you were a calypso dancer. Yes. Ms. Calypso herself, maya angelou! Reporter: Can you give us a sample of one of your favorite songs? Favorite songs? Yes, we would love to hear a little. Yes. Calypso. ♪ Around the candy store ♪ ♪ behind the door ♪ ♪ oh, what a treat. I haven't thought of that song in 200 years. Good lord. Reporter: But you hit every note. It's still inside? It's there. Nothing is lost. Reporter: For "this week," susan saulny, abc news, winston salem, north carolina. Our thanks to susan and dr. Angelou for that. Now we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. This week, the pentagon released the name of one soldier killed in afghanistan. In afghanistan. And that is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. Check out "world news" with david muir tonight. And barbara walters' interview with president obama and the first lady next friday at 10:00. I'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america." At 10:00. I'll see you tomorrow on "good

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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