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Celebrating Oprah Winfrey During Black History Month

Oprah accepting her 2018 Cecile B. DeMille Award

Oprah accepting her 2018 Cecile B. DeMille Award

Oprah accepting her 2018 Cecile B. DeMille Award

Charlotte Crook, Editor in Chief

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Happy Black History Month! Each February, we celebrate African-American celebrities and historical figures who have positively impacted the world, as well as encouraging pride in black Americans’ heritage. For the rest of the month, a new story will be written on a different black American icon. This week, we are celebrating Oprah Winfrey.

The television personality, actress, philanthropist, and spokeswoman, Oprah Winfrey, has become an icon for millions of Americans. To many, her life story and rise to fame serve as symbolism for deserved success, and inspiration for hard work. For women, especially women of color, Oprah has been a trusted friend, welcomed into their homes everyday for over 25 years.

Oprah grew up in poverty, raised by a teenage mother. While living in Mississippi in the 1960’s, she was molested at 14 and had a child, who later died in infancy. These events of Oprah’s life have made an impact many people, and inspired them to overcome obstacles in their life, whether or not their situations may be similar. They hold the mentality that if Oprah can create success from the background she came from, they can do the same in their lives.

When she moved in with her father in Tennessee, Oprah was in high school. She began working at her school’s radio show, which lead to a job on local news at just 19. Oprah worked at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Maryland as a co-anchor in the 70’s, and her friendly personality landed her a day-time TV show out of Chicago. From there, Oprah’s Empire has only expanded.

Although she was rooted in reporting in her early television years, when she began her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, in the 80’s, she coined a more confessional style of daytime television that was revolutionary and closely connected her with her audience. This new style is commonplace for talk shows nowadays. Oprah is now The CEO of her company, a producer, an award-winning actress, and a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers.

As far as milestones, Oprah was the first black multi-billionaire, and is currently the richest African-American. her multi-media presence has gained her credibility and prestige, as in 2013, President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is considered by many “The Most Influential Woman in America” due to her effect on and connection with many women, especially African-American women. At the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, Oprah gave a speech while accepting the honorary Cecile B. DeMille Award, which prompted many to ask for an Oprah 2020 presidential campaign. She has since dispelled of the rumor she will be running in the coming years.

Oprah’s hard work and contributions to entertainment, America, and the black community, have earned her stardom and influence. We celebrate her and her career this Black History Month.

Follow Oprah on Instagram! @oprah

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