All Articles Tagged "oprah"

Solange’s Best Hair Moments

September 23rd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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A photo posted by Solange (@saintrecords) on

I will never forget when Solange Knowles was on an episode of Oprah in 2009, talking about life before and after her big chop. It was a cut people initially panned and ended up loving. After spending between $40,000 and $50,000 a year on hair, Knowles said, “I just wanted to be free from the bondage that black women sometimes put on themselves with hair.” Ever since then, all eyes have been on the hair and style moves of Solange Piaget. She’s never afraid to try something bold and big, something we never would have tried before, but after, we can’t help but love. After watching the star share her new website with fans on Instagram while rocking these Patrice Rushen-inspired braids, we decided to show love to some of our favorite hair moments from Solo. Check them out!

10 Things To Know About Storm Reid, Star Of Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time

September 16th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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#Sundayfunday ❤️⭐️💫 #blackgirlmagic #blessed

A photo posted by Storm Reid 🌸 (@stormreid) on

Her name is Storm Reid, and she is the star of Ava DuVernay’s upcoming Disney live-action film, A Wrinkle in Time. Based on the beloved children’s book by Madeleine L’Engle, Reid will play the protagonist, Meg Murry, who embarks on a sci-fi fantasy adventure to find her father, a scientist who’s gone missing. Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon will join Reid and round out the stellar cast. The inclusive and highly-anticipated film, for which DuVernay will make history as the first woman of color to direct a film with a budget of nearly $100 million, won’t hit theaters until sometime in 2017. But for now, you can read up on Storm Reid, a name you won’t soon forget.

“I Can Straddle Him Without Breaking His Back.” Oprah Talks Benefits Of Her Weight Loss

August 31st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Oprah Talks Benefits Of Her Weight Loss

Credit: C.Smith/

Weight Watchers is really working wonders on Oprah Winfrey’s frame. If you’ve seen her at a red carpet recently, you know she’s looking svelte these days. But her physicality is not the only thing that’s changed.

In a recent interview with People, the media maven confirmed that she and her longtime partner Stedman are going to be trying some new things.

At the premiere for OWN’s new drama series, “Queen Sugar,” Oprah said, “I would like him to pick me up and carry me to the pool. I’ve lost enough weight, he can pick me up and carry me to the pool. I can straddle him without breaking his back.”


And as for the diet itself, Oprah is satisfied with that as well.

She said, “I don’t feel like I’m on a diet that I’m ever going to go off again. I feel like I’ll be counting point for the rest of my life.”

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” 

Secrets Behind the Making Of Selma

August 30th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Image: Atsushi Nishijima/Paramount

Image: Atsushi Nishijima/Paramount

Ava DuVernay’s third feature film, Selma, nominated for Best Picture at the 2015 Academy Awards (and won for Best Original Song), is a cinematic masterpiece. Starring British actor David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr., the performances in Selma leap off the screen and beautifully embody the spirit, impact and importance of the Civil Rights movement. And to think Selma was almost never made.

At least three other directors were attached to the film prior to Ava DuVernay, and Selma had been in limbo for years, even with Oyelowo attached to star. But it took Black women to bring the project to fruition – Ava, who not only directed but rewrote the script, and Oprah Winfrey, who produced and acted in the film. But let me not give away all of the secrets here. Read on to learn more exciting behind the scenes details about Selma.

Image: Adriana M. Barraza/

Image: Adriana M. Barraza/

Lee Daniels

It’s hard not to think of Selma as an Ava DuVernay film, but prior to her attachment, Lee Daniels was set to direct it. But he left the project to work on The Butler. Daniels wasn’t the first director involved with the project, however. Multiple directors were attached but clearly, Ava was the chosen one who made it all come together.

Queen Sugar Helping Oprah Explore Her Sensual Side

August 28th, 2016 - By Toya Sharee
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queen sugar sex scenes

Stedman might want to get the Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay ready. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ms. Winfrey revealed that sex scenes being shot for the upcoming OWN show Queen Sugar are hot and heavy and she’s taking notes.

Creator Ava Duvernay explains that she normally shoots scenes in a very prudish, restrained way, with more focus on the before and after than the actual “during”:

“I try to show what happens before and after and around, because I think that’s sexier.”

Whatever Duvernay is doing, Winfrey says it’s working and she talked about exactly what happened when she and friend Gayle King watched the first few episodes of the show:

“Her sex scenes look damn sexy.”

“You want to be that person. It hits a sensual nerve. He is unhooking her bra, and you’re like, woah! I’m like, ‘I’m going to get Stedman [Graham] to unhook my bra and see what happens. Put your hand in my panty hose and let’s see what happens.’”

Winfrey also spoke of one particular scene where Charley Bordelon West played by Dawn-Lyen Gardner has an intimate moment with her husband Davis West played by Timon Kyle Durrett poolside overlooking the city of Los Angeles. The scene involves Durrett picking Gardner up from the sofa effortlessly, a scene that took a considerable amount of tweaking on Duvernay’s part:

“We did that scene five times,” she explains. “I said, ‘I want this to be effortless, like she is as light as a feather.’”

Her attention to detail was clearly appreciated by King, whom Winfrey recalls saying, “God, I wish somebody would pick me up like that,” to which Winfrey joked about Stedman, “He’d probably hurt his back and fall into the pool. And that would ruin the scene.”

OK, so maybe Stedman should get the Chardonnay and Bengay ready. Either way if the scenes from Queen Sugar have Oprah ready to give Stedman a little something sweet, we’re completely here for the show which has a two-night premiere on September 6 and 7.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of Lee Daniels’ The Butler

August 24th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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The Butler poster

He’s very much into television these days as both Empire and the upcoming Star suggest, but three years ago, writer and director Lee Daniels released his fourth film as director, The Butler. It is loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, a Virginia native turned Washington, D.C. transplant who served in the White House as a butler for more than three decades. The film was a favorite among critics and filmgoers alike. Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker starred as Cecil Gaines, a married father and White House butler who experiences a total of eight presidencies, up close and personal. The civil rights movement, wars, riots, presidential history – Gaines had a front-row seat for every major political or social event. But that’s not all you need to know about the movie or its characters. Here are some secrets behind the making of Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

Oprah And Ava Cover Hollywood Reporter Talk Black Art In The Black Lives Matter Movement

August 17th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Hollywood Reporter

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Oprah and Ava are quite the dynamic duo. One has been powerful and influencing for decades. And the other is new on the scene, coming up as one of the chosen ones who will follow in her footsteps. The two, who’ve teamed up to produce OWN’s new series “Queen Sugar,” sat down to talk about inclusion—not diversity—in their projects and content. They also talked about their roles and responsibilities as Black artists in the time of #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Check out some of the highlights from the interview below.

In “Queen Sugar” there’s a character that would have been perfect for Oprah. Auntie Vi. But Oprah said that since “Greenleaf” was completed first, she went over that way. Plus Auntie Vi would have required too much.

WINFREY Nuh-uh! There’s not room, nor time. I think my role on Greenleaf is going to be it for me for a while. I’m working on Henrietta Lacks [at HBO] and other things coming up. It’s funny, because Gayle [King] saw the first episode of Sugar, and she goes, “How come you didn’t play Aunt Vi?” Originally, I was going to. Then Greenleaf got done first.

DUVERNAY And Aunt Vi is in every episode. When you run a billion-dollar empire, you might not want to be a series regular.

Wrinkle in Time and Ava making history as the first Black woman to helm a $100 million live action movie and whether or not it affects her process.

DUVERNAY It doesn’t figure into my storytelling. The way I tell a story is the same at $100-plus million as it was for my first movie [I Will Follow], which was $50,000. I have more tools to do it and more planks to build the house now, but ultimately if the story is not solid, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. So the headlines don’t really impact what I’m doing in the room as I work with actors and my collaborators.

Is the pressure with being the first?

DUVERNAY “Pressure” is the wrong word. I’m in a space where I’m able to do the things that I want to do and the start of that was doing it on my own and working independently without permission. Even though I have more folks, more money and more infrastructure around me now, I made a decision [long ago] to work from a place of protecting my own voice by collaborating with people who nurture and value that — and not trying to spend my time knocking on doors that were closed to me, begging people for things that put me at a disadvantage because they had it and I didn’t.

Are there doors still closed to you?

DUVERNAY No, no one’s going to stop me from doing what I want to do; I just have to figure out a way to do it that might not be the easy route that my counterparts who don’t look like me and identify as I do have. They have a bit of an easier time of it, an easier road, but it doesn’t mean I can’t do it. It may just take me a bit. Part of the challenge that I find when I enter these conversations with journalists is that [you’ve] thought about it in a way that society thinks about it: “the plight of the woman filmmaker,” “the plight of the black artist,” “the plight of whoever is on the outside.” But if you receive it and treat it as a plight, that starts to manifest in you and your work, and it affects your creativity.

As black artists, what responsibility do you feel to include the challenges facing the black community in your storytelling?
DUVERNAY You see integration of Black Lives Matter from the beginning of [Queen Sugar] because it is literally black lives having meaning and mattering in the everyday. With the Black Lives Matter movement, a lot of the focus is on the protest and dissent. I’m hoping to dismantle the public notion — for folks outside of the community — of what Black Lives Matter means. It’s really about saying that black lives matter, that humanity is the same when you go inside people’s homes.
WINFREY Everybody gets caught up in the slogan and the hashtag and the protest. What we’re trying to do is get you to feel it. You get to feel it when Ralph Angel [Kofi Siriboe] is putting his son to bed, laying with him and reading a story. Intimacy and connection between a father and son? We’ve just not seen it [with black characters on series TV].

Can black stories accurately be told by people who aren’t black?

DUVERNAY Artists should be free to create what we want. I believe there’s a special value in work that is a reflection of oneself as opposed to interpretation. When I see a film or a TV show about black people not written by someone who’s black, it’s an interpretation of that life.

WINFREY I think it depends upon your level of experience.

You can read the full interview over at Hollywood Reporter.  Queen Sugar premieres Sept 6 on OWN.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor for She is also the author of the recently released book “Bettah Days.”

No, It’s You: OWN Cancels Tyrese And Rev Run’s It’s Not You, It’s Men

August 2nd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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After eight episodes of thought-provoking conversations about love, sex, marriage and more, Tyrese Gibson and Rev Run’s OWN talk show, It’s Not You, It’s Men will not be returning for a second season. The show, which featured all sorts of celebrity guests giving their two cents on important sex and relationship issues (Amber Rose’s slut-shaming conversation with the hosts, as well as Loni Love and Jessimae Peluso schooling them about gender roles may have been the most notable chats), premiered on January 23. Tyrese took to Instagram last night to share his disappointment about the cancellation. He also shared the advice given to him by Winfrey in the wake of the show getting the ax before stating that he would like to try and take the series to a streaming network.

#SHOWCANCELED It breaks my heart to post this.. the #OWN Network has decided to pass on SEASON 2 of our show… ( #watch this full clip the link is in my Instagram bio )…… Message to one of my biggest inspirations mother Oprah Winfrey and team.. Honestly as much as I want to be mad and disappointed, I can’t be because you believed in us enough to give us a shot. A shot that you could of given to anyone…… We were inspired to have a moment to finally spark a #mature dialogue and put some positivity on the air and not another RATCHET show throwing drinks, fighting and taking things into ratchet levels for ratings….. THAT WOULD OF BEEN EASY RIGHT….? With love in my heart and pure determination I say this…. On behalf of myself and my best friend and mentor, REV RUN…  Thank you to all of the fans who rocked with us and tuned in….. Dammit! Let me see if I can get the CHAIRMAN and CEO of NETFLIX, Spotify, Amazon other networks that are all needing content. /. on LINE 1… #ItsNotYouItsMEN will live on! Oprah gave some some strong advise that I will hold onto as we look for our new home……. “Think like a KING, a KING is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” -Oprah ………………….. ( what was your favorite episodes? What did you take away? What heated debates did you and your crew have after each show? Comment below!

A video posted by TYRESE (@tyrese) on

The show was a spinoff of sorts of Tyrese and Rev Run’s book, Manology: Secrets of Your Man’s Mind Revealed. And while some of the conversations about what it takes to be a “feminine” woman turned me off, the show, based on the disappointed reaction seen through comments on Tyrese’s Instagram page, had amassed quite a few fans.

Did you tune into the program? If so, will you miss it?

Why My 30s Are Better Than My 20s

August 2nd, 2016 - By Alyssa Rachelle
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Source: Shutterstock

Whenever I have friends who are approaching their 30th birthday, I quickly say with conviction, “Your 30s are much better than your 20s.” It’s true, for me at least, as I would never go back to my 20s. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun. But I’m enjoying my time even more now that I’m approaching my mid-30s.

Even the queen herself, Oprah Winfrey, said that aging is a blessing. She stated in a Lifeclass video that every year should be teaching us all something valuable. “I know that only by owning — own it — who and what you are can you start to step in the fullness of life.”

All too often, women dread their imminent 30th year on this earth. According to The Huffington Post, women do not look forward to turning 30 due to regrets about not accomplishing dreams or assuming their “glory days” are over. But really, as long as you’re still kicking, your glory days are upon you.

While I’ve never had an issue with aging, after turning 30 I learned a few things about myself that ultimately enhanced my livelihood. I’m sure many of you can relate.

I Embraced All of Me

In middle school, I wanted my mom’s slender, feminine legs. While in high school, I was hesitant to lift weights for sports I took part in due to fear that my already broad shoulders would become masculine. In college, I wanted to gain weight.

I always loved the way I looked, but I often found faults in my image. As I got older, I truly embraced all of myself. I now look in the mirror and appreciate my features.

Psychologist Deborah Serani, PsyD, told Psych Central that the key to self-compassion is to understand that weakness and frailty are part of the human experience. “Coming to accept who you are involves loving yourself because of your flaws, not in spite of them,” she said.

Dr. Seuss may have said it best: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

I Learned Not to Care What People Think

There was a time when I tried to please everyone, whether it was through the type of clothing that I wore or my career choice. Eventually, I gave that up and started living for myself. There were some decisions that I’ve made that have been unconventional, yet they were perfect for me. And to this day, I have no regrets.

I admit that I started to have this mentality during my mid-20s, but at the age of 30, something clicked and I truly gave up on second-guessing myself. I didn’t care what people thought. I started living my life.

In his post for Psychology Today, psychiatrist Fredric Neuman, M.D., mentioned that people will find some reason to disapprove of what you do, regardless of who you are or what you do. “It is important not to measure yourself by the standards of other people,” Neuman wrote.

I’m Wiser

Besides becoming more financially responsible and truly pursuing my passions, I decided to cut out the foolishness. When I found myself losing focus when it came to what I needed to accomplish, I knew that I had to let a few friends and a few bad habits go, or at least keep certain people at an arm’s length.

One of my favorite books is The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. It contains a passage that speaks volumes. “I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.”


With all that being said, don’t dread getting older. Don’t sulk when your birthday comes back around. Don’t feel like you need to hide your age.  Instead, embrace it gracefully. Learn your lessons and appreciate the blessings. When you start feeling down about getting older, just remember, someone didn’t have the chance to.

Renée Elise Goldsberry Will Play Henrietta Lacks In New Oprah-Produced Film

July 26th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Renée Elise Goldsberry’s career is white hot right now. After an astoundingly successful run on the smash Broadway hit Hamilton (for which she won a Tony), the Goldsberry is reportedly participating in a Netflix sic-drama series called “Altered Carbon.” But that’s not all. According to Shadow and Act, she will also take on the role of the late Henrietta Lacks in the HBO adaptation of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

The 2010 non-fiction book, written by Rebecca Skloot was optioned by Oprah’s Harpo Films the year it was published. And Oprah is set to play Lacks’ daughter Deborah in present day.

Goldsberry will likely portray Lacks in flashbacks as the HBO adaptation will chronicle her daughter’s search to learn more about her mother and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of her cells in 1951 led to medical breakthroughs.

For those who haven’t read the phenomenal book, it recounts the story, from first hand sources, of Henrietta Lacks, a poor, Black woman from Baltimore who died from cervical cancer in 1951, at the age of 31. Lacks’ cells were removed from her body and used by doctors at Johns Hopkins University.

The study and manipulation of Lacks’ cells would lead to a cure for polio, breakthrough in AIDS medication, cancer research and much more. Her cells were also the first to be cloned in 1955.

George C. Wolfe will direct the film adaptation and Henrietta Lacks’ family members, including her sons Zakariyya Rahman, David Lacks Jr., and her granddaughter Jeri Lacks will serve as consultants for the adaptation. It will be produced by Harpo Films.

As of now, there is no release date. But we’ll be sure to keep you posted.