Something about the poet and author Dr. Maya Angelou escaped most people’s attention, until now. She was once employed by our namesake, Market Street Railway Company, Muni’s old competitor, as a streetcar conductor. The first black female conductor in San Francisco history, in fact.

She said this decades ago in “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” when she describes in some detail standing on the back platform of a 7-Haight streetcar collecting nickels from boarding passengers. But now it has become national news, because she talked about it with Oprah. Here’s a clip from that interview, courtesy Harpo Productions. Read more and watch video