Oprah: Farewell but not Good-bye

The time has finally come. After 25 wonderful years of the Oprah Winfrey show, Ms. Winfrey has embarked on a new chapter in her life. She has gone from being a poor, underprivileged black girl to one of the most powerful BLACK women of our time.

Oprah Winfrey has been a name that I have ALWAYS known, even before I knew who she was. I probably knew who Oprah was before I knew who the President was (growing up). When I was in the third grade I was living with my Grandmother, and I can remember coming home everyday from school and her finishing watching her Soap Opera’s to be followed by The Oprah Winfrey show. The first episode I vividly remember is one where she had a singer (I don’t remember who) singing a gospel song. Oprah started crying and was sitting on the steps praising the Lord. Even at a young age I could tell she was trying not to catch the spirit, but she couldn’t control it. (It’s like fire shot up in my bones). I’m not sure why I remembered that scene so well, but in that moment, she wasn’t just a person on TV anymore. She was like my family and friends and people we knew.

Years went by and I wasn’t a faithful watcher, I was usually at work when the show would come on, but I would sometimes hear about certain shows that she did. When I was old enough, my mother let me watch The Color Purple. Once again there was an instant connection. Since I was a victim of abuse multiple times and dealt with the separation of my siblings and family. I had already been through therapy and a lot of the girls in the group sessions had stories like mine. But for it to be portrayed in a movie, with a recognizable face; that was my confirmation that not only me, but my family was not the only dysfunctional one.

One day when I was in the library I stumbled across the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I had no idea that it was originally a book. I checked it out, read it and enjoyed it all over again. Like many people I already knew the story line by heart, but there was so much more in the book. I had always been an avid reader. I had already read, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou; Charles Dickens Great Expectations. The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Sula by Toni Morrison. I got caught up in multiple books by Terri McMillan, Disappearing Acts, and Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Only to later find that these were all on Oprah’s best seller lists. Wow we have a lot of the same interests in literature.  😀

This brings me to my current life. Now with the age of TIVO I record a lot of the Oprah Winfrey shows so I can watch them at my leisure. It feels like I’m turning into my mother and grandmother as I get caught up. She made former President George Bush “human” for me. Her interviews with Tyler Perry are epic. The story of the abused boy who was locked in a bathroom closet with barbed wire wrapped around him made my heart ache. The reunion of The Color Purple cast and the resolve between Oprah and Whoopi warmed my heart.  The miscommunication and closer between she and Iyana Vanzant let me know that anything could happen in some of the unresolved relationships that I have. And probably the most remarkable for me was the discovery and union with her half sister. That reminded me that in God’s timing ANYTHING can and WILL happen. I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture.

Now I’m hooked to Oprah’s Master Class. I watch the episodes and then replay them while I fall asleep hoping that the lessons and knowledge will soak into my mind and spirit. Again when I watched Maya Angelou’s and Oprah’s Master Class I identified again with them. Partially because they were abused, others because of the struggles they went through to get to where they are now. I learned to NEVER sacrifice my beliefs or integrity to appease someone else. What God has for me is for me!

No matter what you feel about Oprah you absolutely HAVE to respect what she’s done for Black people, women, the entertainment industry, and her philanthropy, countless random acts of kindness. I can tell that she is truly genuine. I don’t want to be LIKE Oprah (because you can only be your best at being yourself), but I would love to touch people the way that she does. That is truly a gift from God.

I’m so happy and excited to see what God has in store for her next. Thank you, Ms. Winfrey for being such a wonderful inspiration and my favorite teacher.

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