Melissa Harris-Perry and Maya Angelou (via Facebook)

Who knew Melissa Harris-Perry was a former student of Maya Angelou? This weekend the novelist, artist, activist and teacher spoke to the MSNBC host โ€” who, like many fans and readers, is still clearly eager to learn from her โ€” about topics ranging from the meaning of courage to the importance of education in the formation of identity.

Angelou explained at one point in the Melissa Harris-Perry show interview why she finds the hostile political climate leading up to the election heartbreaking, saying:

"I don't know how we can, after the fact, after the election, how we can look at each other with friendly eyes, having for all intents and purpose, cursed each other out and said that this person is not โ€” this person is a liar, a brute. This person is a fraud. And then the elections will take place and then we have to work together in the House of Representatives or in the Senate or in the supermarket. I think it's fair and proper to say โ€” to explain your point of view and what you hope to achieve. That's fair. But that doesn't mean then that โ€” say of the other person who has another agenda that he's a brute. Or she's a terrible word. That's stupid. What breaks my heart, Ms. Perry, Dr. Perry, what breaks my heart is to think what would our nation be like if we dared to be intelligent, if we dared to allow our intelligence to dictate our movements, our actions? What would โ€” can you imagine?"

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