All Articles Tagged "oprah"
Happy birthday Oprah!
The entertainment mogul turns 61 today and continues to inspire millions around the globe. In honor of her special day we’re taking a look at some of her motivational quotes and takeaways over the years that continue to remain relevant.
Is there a generational divide with the current movement for Black civil rights? (And that’s exactly what it is.)
It’s really hard to say. We know that the Washington Post, and other media outlets, believes there is a divide and thus far, has published multiple pieces, highlighting the supposed generational infraction. In short (and as told by that paper), the younger activists are attempting to chart their own destiny (as it is the young, who will inherit the earth) and take the reigns from the older activists, who feel like the younger generation really doesn’t knows what they’re doing, so we’ll take it from here, kids…
Honestly, it is a story older than time – and in fact, pretty much reflective of all movements for liberation, probably worldwide. And if history is a teacher, there is likely a bunch of big egos as well as other -isms helping to facilitate whatever conflict that is allegedly happening.
However, I would be remiss if didn’t acknowledge that in spite of what could be media sensationalism around this supposed divide, there are signs that folks, particularly of a certain age and era, just don’t get it. And it may very well be generational, but not necessarily.
I think nothing highlights this more than recent comments made by media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who in a recent a press junket for the film Selma, which she co-produced (along with Brad Pitt), told People (as later transcribed by the Washington Post):
“I think it’s wonderful to march and to protest and it’s wonderful to see all across the country, people doing it,” she said in a video interview posted Thursday on the magazine’s Web site. “But what I’m looking for is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, ‘This is what we want. This is what we want. This is what has to change, and these are the steps that we need to take to make these changes, and this is what we’re willing to do to get it.”
The irony of Oprah promoting the film Selma, which is all about marching and stuff, while giving the whole “marching is nice but…” speech.
More directly, there are a couple of things wrong about her statement, which I believe are worth mentioning. First and foremost, those who did not start the movement really should be more thoughtful about critiquing these young activists about what they are and aren’t doing correctly. I mean, it is not like Oprah and the rest of the “you’re doing it wrong” brigade haven’t had decades of time to show the youth how to “effectively” put themselves on the line for justice in this fight against police brutality. Nope they were too busy making money and building empires, which is also glorious and empowering, but fails to be the shield against the global mistreatment of darker skinned people. We saw that very clearly during the Switzerland incident in which a boutique shop keeper wouldn’t show Oprah and all her money bags an expensive purse because Oprah “looked” like she couldn’t afford it.
The second, and probably most important, point is this idea that the radical movements of the past, particularly the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s, were about the efforts of one man. This kind of narrative is pervasive and both troubling within the Black community and in the larger society in general. And it is one spurred on by our broken educational system, which does a broad stroke over anything that has to do with Black history. In fact, this thinking reminds me of the old Chris Rock joke about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being the correct answer to every and all questions about Black history.
But the truth of the matter is that one man does not, and has never, made a movement.
There were others. And their individual and group contributions were just as instrumental to developing the Civil Rights movement as the people, who ultimately became the face of it. Like Claudette Colvin, who was the first person to get arrested for failing to give up her seat. And Ella Baker, the mostly behind the scenes grassroots leader that not only organized King’s new organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), but also served as advisor to the students who ultimately founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Then there were some of Dr King’s closest advisors as well including James Farmer, Hosea Williams and Clarence Benjamin Jones. While many of these activists (and so many more) are not easily recalled to the mind as Dr. King, their mostly behind-the-scenes organizing and sacrificing are the foundation for the movement’s most iconic moments. Like Bayard Rustin, who worked tirelessly and without mention, organizing the 1963 March on Washington, which provided a platform for Dr. King to make his historic “I Have A Dream” speech.
I don’t think Oprah is trying to be malicious. She is not Don Lemon or some other shuck and jive opportunist looking to disrupt and divide. It should be noted that Oprah has a long history of supporting the Black community specifically including financially supporting multiple hard-to-fund Black film projects, donating millions to Morehouse and even building a school in South Africa for girls. And that commitment to community should be acknowledge and respected.
However, I do believe that Oprah is also part of a long-held (and hard to penetrate) belief system within the community, which likes to tout Black personal achievement as the solution to dealing with institutionalized racial oppression. The whole “pulling up your pants” and “speak correct English” ideology and its emphasis on the White gaze, (which was recently highlighted and denounced in a viral video and article by noted Black Bourgeoisie Lawrence Otis Graham), is at the heart of why certain voices and contributions to Black civil rights and liberation often go unheard.
I’m talking about voices like Huey Newton, Elaine Brown, Fred Hampton, Stokely Carmichael, Faye Bellamy Powell and even the aforementioned Claudette Colvin, whose personal protest against bus segregation was ignored until Rosa Parks bravely and smartly attached her lighter skinned and more respectable face on it (and this is not conjecture, but hardcore truth). Then there were the countless, nameless and less “respectable” voices, like those who rioted in Harlem, in Detroit and in Watts.
While ultimately it would be Dr King’s more populace message for Black civil rights, which HIStory would recite the most, the reality is that the push for our rights didn’t involve just one man or avenue. As one of the other great Black civil rights leaders once said, “By any means necessary.” Cliche, but whatever works.
And in all honesty, why does this movement need a clear and definite leader anyway? History also tells us that movements built around a single person tend to die out, when that person does. History also tells us that that sexism as well as homophobia were also pervasive within these movements. For more context, you might want to start with this 2013 piece by Keli Goff in the Root about how civil rights activist Gloria Richardson was basically disrespected at the March on Washington.
In essence, the younger generation of activists’ insistence on a more diffuse movement shows that they have been paying attention to the older heads more than folks like to give them credit for.
Momma O may or may not be on the sh*tlist of #BlackLivesMatter protesters around the country.
In an interview People Magazine, Oprah ruffled the feathers of some of the protesters. Oprah stated, “I think it’s wonderful to march and to protest and it’s wonderful to see all across the country, people doing it. What I’m looking for is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, ‘This is what we want. This is what has to change, and these are the steps that we need to take to make these changes, and this is what we’re willing to do to get it.’ “
The statement upset many protesters, who took to Twitter to vent.
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) January 2, 2015
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) January 2, 2015
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) January 2, 2015
Oprah has yet to comment on the statement. However, many are claiming it’s not that deep. She is entitled to her own opinion. Who do you believe is correct? Did Oprah push it? Or is she simply stating her opinion?
“I Had To Learn To Stop Dating Little Boys” Vivica Fox Talks Love Life And Missing Motherhood With Oprah
This Sunday, Vivica Fox will sit down with Oprah for her “Where Are They Now” episode. Vivica’s a charismatic lady so you know she and Oprah gelled well together. Plus, Oprah’s able to ask questions most of us can’t get away with. Anyway, during their sit-down she asked Vivica did she ever regret the fact that she didn’t become a mother and her answer was very candid and a bit sad, actually. See what she had to say.
Oprah: Do you ever miss being a mother?
Vivica: Of course.
Vivica: If that’s the biggest regret of my life that I have was that I didn’t have a child but I’m a good godmother.
Vivica: Oh yeah, I bring the best gifts and throw the best parties. If that’s the one thing that I have a regret about, that would be that I didn’t have a child.
Oprah: I didn’t expect that answer.
Vivica: Yeah, that’s the only thing. I’ll never forget seeing Halle on the red carpet and she’d just had Nahla. And I said, “Wow she so beautiful.” She said, “Vivica if I knew then what I know now I would’ve had 5 of them.” And she said the joy I see in her eyes is just like no other high that I’ve ever experienced so I don’t get to see my eyes in a child.
Wow. It’s so beautiful but also really unfortunate for Vivica, considering it seems like it was clearly something she wanted for her life.
But on a lighter, much more hilarious note, Oprah asked her one of her staple questions: what do you know now that you wish you knew then. I would think Vivica would speak about something in her career. Instead, the conversation veered off into her love life and how she used to get completely distracted by a six pack and a smile.
Oprah: What do you know now, that you wish you had known then that could have saved you so much time?
Vivica: Just to have a little bit more patience. Not to basically fall in love so quick. I have a tendency– I would jump into the shallow end of the pool head first. Now I’m a little bit more cautious with getting to know people, especially for my love life.
Oprah: So what are you now looking for that you weren’t then?
Vivica: Gosh, a man more than anything else. I had to learn to stop dating little boys. I had to learn to stop falling in love with a six pack and a smile, honey. It used to just be the curse for your girl. I did honey. if a six pack and smile came my way, I was just the worse.
I can’t help but think of at least a couple of men she’s referencing. *Calls 50 Cent and Vivica’s former fiancé Omar “Slimm” White to mind.* I know she’s happy to be out of that phase…
You can watch these clips from the interview in the videos on the next page.
Who knew that Raven-Symoné’s “Where Are They Now” episode would open up such a large can of worms? But her’s did, indeed.
As we mentioned before, Oprah asked her about the now famous tweet about gay marriage, which many took to mean that she, herself, was gay.
And while she did confirm that she was in a relationship with a woman, Raven-Symoné says she doesn’t want to be labeled as gay. In fact, she doesn’t want to be labeled as African American either.
First, the tweet:
“That was my way of saying I’m proud of the country. But, I will say that I’m in an amazing, happy relationship with my partner. A woman. And on the other side, my mother and people in my family, they’ve taught me to keep my personal life to myself as much as possible. So I try my best to hold the fence where I can but I am proud to be who I am and what I am?”
Oprah: So when did you know who you were and what you were?
Raven: In that topic of dating and in love, I knew when I was like twelve. I was looking at everything.
Oprah: Boys and girls? Did you have a word for it?
Raven: I don’t need language. I don’t need a categorizing statement for it.
Oprah: So you don’t want to be labeled gay?
Raven: I don’t’ want to be labeled gay. I want to be labeled, a human who loves humans. I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American, I’m not an African American. I’m an American.
Oprah: Oh girl, don’t set up the Twitter on fire. What?! Oh, my Lord! What did you say?
Raven: I don’t know where my roots go to. I don’t know how far back they go. I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from. But I do know my roots are in Louisiana. I’m an American and that’s a colorless person.
Oprah: I mean, you’re going to get a lot of flack for saying you’re not African American. You know that right?
Raven: I have darker skin, I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian, I connect with Asian, I connect with Black, I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.
Oprah: You are a melting pot in one body.
Raven: Aren’t we all? Isn’t that what America’s supposed to be?
Oprah: That’s what it’s supposed to be, for sure.
Whew, child! She said a mouthful. And Oprah was right. She set Twitter on fire. The show aired yesterday and as I type this, “Raven Symone” is still trending.
We all have the right to define ourselves for ourselves and I certainly understand not wanting to label yourself as gay when you’re attracted to both sexes and believe love is love but the “not African American” part, is troubling to me. I understand that in this country, where you’re judged firstly and primarily by your color, the label can become heavy and problematic, even dangerous. But doesn’t the choice not to acknowledge it mean, that on some level, you’ve internalized the messages that it’s somehow inferior, or less American? Furthermore, “American” is a label too. (You need only leave this country to see the implications, positive and negative, that it carries.) So, it seems odd to only tell half of the story. You’re American but unless you’re Native American, there’s more to it. And I can’t help but notice that many other races and ethnicities take the time to celebrate those differences. Have you ever heard an Italian American, Mexican American or Chinese American deny their heritage, even if their ancestors have been in this country for centuries?
It just seems that Black people, across the diaspora, keep trying to run away from Africa. And that’s what I don’t understand. A lot of us aren’t able to point to a specific country, but there are tests that could answer that question if you really wanted to know. Honestly though, do you have to know a specific country to know there’s some Africa in you? There’s a reason why Raven, as a “colorless American,” noticed her darker skin and interesting grade of hair. One, because our country has conditioned us to notice and even demonize it, but also because it points to that undeniably African part of her ancestry, whether she wants to label it or not.
I’m not suggesting that Raven is ashamed of her African ancestry; she said she connects with Black culture, but I do wonder why she’s decided to omit it from her story.
What do you think about Raven-Symoné’s comments? Watch this portion of her “Where Are They Now?” interview with Oprah in the video below.
Raven-Symoné Explains How She Avoided Scandal As A Child Star, And Why She Keeps Her Love Life Private
I’ve always liked Raven-Symoné, because despite the fact that so many child stars go through quite a few lows in their careers and personal lives in public, she has always handled herself in a graceful way. She stays out of trouble. She makes her money (a lot of it). She lives life her way. So how was she able to do this as someone who has been in the spotlight for a majority of her life?
Oprah sat down with Symoné for a “Where Are They Now?” episode and the actress explained the role her parents played in keeping her out of the headlines and out of trouble all these years.
“There’s a few answers. My parents taught me to keep my private life private to the best of my ability. They showed me all the role models out there that I could turn into, and what I want for myself in the future. And seeing all of the statistic child stars going off the edge, what I’ve learned is that it’s unnecessary to go to the most popular restaurant in the world when you have a scandal on your head and then get mad that someone’s going to take a picture of it. That’s your fault, boo boo. Stay in the house…”
The interview is this Sunday on OWN. But until then, check out the preview with her comments on staying grounded and out of drama below:
Tyler Perry and Oprah may have another victory on their hands! According to theJasmineBrand.com, the two mega superstars have finally settled a nasty legal battle.
The battle involved Vanessa Lynn and Parables Entertainment. Lynn claimed she wrote the screenplay “Affairs” a number of years ago, which was eventually recreated and developed as “The Have and The Have Nots” for OWN. The drama Lynn created revolved around a small town family, a father running for mayor, a health challenged mother and a daughter named Peaches. Sound similar right? Also another similar storyline was the storyline that included a friend of Peaches having an affair with her father. (Side eye we know)
“Affairs” was turned into a play and eventually released on DVD by Parables Entertainment. Lynn claims Tyler Perry stole the idea of “Affairs” to create the show “The Have and The Have Nots”.
The lawsuit requested an injunction to prevent the show from airing and also a fair share of the profits made by the two giants. Lynn also wanted to be listed in the credits.
However, on September 17th, Parables Entertainment dismissed the entire lawsuit against Perry and OWN. From this dismissal alone we can only assume, Lynn and Parables Entertainment were awarded a hefty fee. The group also dismissed with case with prejudice. Therefore, they cannot file another lawsuit against the same claims.
Someone was clearly paid very nicely. Thoughts?
The impact of “A Different World” cannot be overstated. A television show that inspired students of all races and ethnicities to attend college? That’s major. And although the show has long since been off the air, its impact is still very strong.
So Oprah sat down with some of the cast members for her “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” series on OWN.
Hillman alum Jasmine Guy (Whitley Gilbert), Kadeem Hardison (Dwayne Wayne), Dawn Lewis (Jalessa Taylor), Sinbad (Coach Oakes), Darryl M. Bell (Ron Johnson), Cree Summer (Freddie Brooks) and executive producer of the show Debbie Allen all sat down to discuss the things they’ve been up to since they left the hit NBC series.
As you know, “A Different World” was a spinoff of “The Cosby Show” so the cast took time to pay homage to the genius of Bill Cosby in creating this groundbreaking show.
See what they had to say.
The cast of A Different World will appear on OWN on Sunday, October 26 at 9pm.
But before you catch up with these folks, Raven Symone sits down with Oprah to speak candidly about her life after childhood super stardom, including the Tweet that presumably announced to the world that she was a lesbian. You can watch Raven’s “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” episode on October 5 at 9pm. On that same day, you’ll have a chance to catch up with Jenna Von Oy (aka Six from “Blossom” and Stevie Van Lowe on “The Parkers.”)
And then on the following Sunday, October 12 you can see what Vivica Fox is doing these days.
Looks like a jam-packed season full of familiar faces. We’re here for it.
In an interview with Telegraph, Lindsay Lohan opened up about her experience doing community service and made an interesting claim.
Lohan says she was forced to work 12-hour shifts from 4am to 4pm for four months and had a very “F’d up and inappropriate” experience. It was inappropriate “because a lot of other people were meant to do it, and they were like: ‘No, they can’t handle it. Lohan can.’ It’s different for me than it would be for other people – like, no one would really have to work at the morgue in LA and roll a body bag for Whitney Houston.”
Wait. What? Did Lindsay Lohan say she rolled a body bag for our beloved Whitney?
Lohan also mentioned that appearing on Oprah’s docuseries forced her out of New York City. It made her a target. “After the Oprah show it was kind of hard for me to be in New York,” says Lohan. “There started to be paparazzi, and I didn’t have that in New York in the beginning…Every time I left my house, they were at the corner.”
Okay guys, what do you think? Did she really handle Whitney’s body bag? Is Oprah the blame for her troubles in NYC? Sound off!
Looks like Nick Cannon lost out on that much coveted Richard Pryor role, even after that very unfortunate hair cut.
Instead the role went to fellow comedian Mike Epps. And judging by Epps’ past in the dramatic field (see Sparkle), I would say this is a pretty good choice.
And if you didn’t believe it was official, all you have to do is look at Oprah’s Instagram page for confirmation. A couple of weeks ago, Winfrey posted a picture of herself, director Lee Daniels and the film’s star after one of their first read throughs of the script.
So what role will Oprah play?
She’s going to be a pimp.
If you know anything about Richard Pryor, you know his formative years weren’t exactly…conventional. As a child Pryor was raised in his grandmother’s brothel in Peoria, Illinois where his mother was a prostitute. His mother abandoned him when he was 10 and his grandmother, a notoriously violent, woman raised him.
Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer told TMZ, once Oprah got the script she was desperate to play Marie Carter, Pryor’s grandmother because she’s anxious to play a more, meaty and gritty role after her performance in The Butler.