Maya Angelou drove a San Francisco streetcar, y’all!
Not only that: She claims she was the first black streetcar conductor in the city. And we have every reason to believe her.
Via SF Appeal:
“In an interview with Oprah, Angelou was just 16 years old and still in high school when she decided to pursue the position. The uniforms caught her eye and she soon went to apply for a job.
Though many women worked as streetcar conductors, at the time none of them were women of color. Angelou was denied an application, but that didn’t stop her from soldiering on. With her mother Vivian Baxter’s encouragement and suggestion, Angelou says she sat in SF’s transit office every day for two weeks. She would arrive earlier than the secretaries and wouldn’t leave until after they had gone for the day.”
Here’s the interview, in which the word “pizzazz” is spoken more than once: