Excellent article. Thank you for sharing.
I hope that Oprah reads it.
It is clear that I am in the minority here, but I both like and admire Oprah. Probably, more than anyone else in the "one percent."
She is a rags to riches story. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, born to a single teenaged mom, she managed to pursue both higher education, and her dream of working in media, at a time in which women, especially black women, were not a common sight on tv.
She was bold enough to take the role of Sophie in The Color Purple. That is when she first hit my radar. I was scandalized that ET director Steven Spielberg was attempting to make a movie out of the groundbreaking book. But I fell in love with the movie, and many of the cast. Oprah took on what was perhaps the most difficult role in the whole film - that of a bright, self-aware woman with goals and dreams and a seemingly infinite amount of strength, who was broken, both physically and emotionally. Oprah's performance was beyond spectacular. Hauntingly, painfully, spectacular.
I like her talk show. It was her great rise to fame, and fortune. I don't think it was the best thing on tv, but it was interesting and bold, and of course as her fame and power grew, the most interesting people in the world vied to be her guests.
She promoted reading to an audience of many non-readers. If Oprah promoted a book, it was on the NY Times best seller list immediately. I'm pretty sure that I first read quite a few books, including The Red Tent and the Poisonwood Bible due to the Oprah hype. The Poisonwood Bible is certainly still among my top ten favorite all-time favorite works of fiction. If you haven't read it, you should!!!
Oprah rise to fame was so unlikely. Women on tv are supposed to be pretty. That is still true today, but it was even more true when she started out. Famous black people were generally athletes in that era. She was neither. Her intelligence and her charisma, coupled with a whole lot of luck, were her only tools.
Oprah has dedicated a significant part of her life to fighting prejudice. As this insightful article demonstrates, even the greatest champions in the struggle against marginalization can in fact, continue to carry their own biases.
Yeah. I hope she reads he article. I hope she thinks about it and learns. And I hope that she takes what she has learned, and shares it with her followers.