All Articles Tagged "oprah"

The Ultimate Read: 15 Celebs Who Need To Write A Tell-All

June 9th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Shonda Rhimes Big Moves in Hollywood

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This promises to be a big year for Black autobiographies. With Issa Rae’s book of short essays in stores everywhere, Amber Rose preparing her scandalous tell-all, and the announcements of memoirs coming from Shonda Rhimes and Gabourey Sidibe, we are hype. But we would be even more excited if the following stars shared their stories. Here are 15 celebs who need to write tell-all books!

Michelle Obama, Oprah & Beyonce Make ‘Forbes’ List Of 25 Most Powerful Women

May 26th, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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WENN

Michelle Obama has placed in the number 10 spot on the Forbes list of 25 Most Powerful Women in the World, the highest position for a Black woman on the list. The list, which includes women in politics, media, entertainment and more, is assessed based on financial resources, media mentions around the global and “sphere of influence,” which includes pop culture sway, philanthropy and other areas of influence.

“The concept of power can be nebulous — especially when it comes to gender,” the magazine writes, noting that as of January 2015, there were only 10 women serving as heads of state, 23 female CEOs at the S&P 500 companies and 197 women on the list of international billionaires.

“But there’s hardly a void of powerful women – and the numbers are growing. That is, if we enlarge our focus from just who owns the greatest wealth or the heaviest corporate hammer to include the women whose influence and impact may be greater than the sum of their title,” Forbes continues.

But in terms of cold-hard cash, Oprah comes in first, the top–ranking billionaire on the list at number 12. And Beyonce comes in at number 21.

The top three women on the list are, in order, German Chancellor Angela Merkel; former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; and Melinda Gates, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For the full list of all 100 most powerful women, click here.

Janet Mock Sits Down With Oprah For Super Soul Sunday

April 29th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Janet mock

Source: OWN

Bruce Jenner is not the person educating the world and giving voice to an often ignored and misunderstood community. Janet Mock, the former website editor for People turned author and activist, is sitting down with Oprah for an episode of Super Soul Sunday this weekend to talk about her own personal journey.

For those of you who may not know Mock’s story, she was living in New York City, working her dream job. She kept the truth of her past life private. Then in 2011, Mock shared her story with Marie Claire magazine. Though she later took issue with the piece, specifically the title “I Was Born A Boy,” the story opened up a world of possibilities for her.

She quickly became one of the most visible and influential trans women in the world. Today, she hosts a show on MSNBC and has written a memoir called Redefining Realness. 

During her sit down with Oprah, Mock will discuss knowing at as early as five-years-old, that she was a girl. She says:

“As a young person, you don’t have much agency or decision-making. And so you just go wherever people pick you up and take you, and say that this is the way the world is,” she says. “And something internal inside of me told me constantly that what they’re saying is wrong. And so it creates this dissonance with who can you trust if you know that inside, as a 5-year-old, that this is how you know yourself to be.”

Check out the clips from the upcoming interview in the videos below.


You can catch Mock’s interview on OWN at Sunday, May 3 at 11 am ET/PT.

What Do The Prancing Elites And Oprah Have To Do With The Cause Of Police Brutality?

April 28th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Oxygen

Oxygen

If you are Black and claim yourself to be a champion for Black people, and yet the only enemy you can see are Black gay men and Black women in general, you don’t really give a damn about black people.

Hell, let me be even more brazen to suggest that not only do you not care about the general welfare of Black folks, but you, my friend, are nothing more than a willing tool for the very system that oppresses us all.

What I mean is that all weekend, while the mostly Black citizenry of Baltimore protested and burned their city; while the mainstream media, the supposed fourth estate charged with being watchdogs over the other three estates, dined and cracked jokes at the White House-sponsored Correspondents’ Dinner; and while newly elected Attorney General Loretta Lynch finalized her summer tour of law enforcement to help improve “police morale,” a good sum of us were sharing statuses on social media and passing around this essay about how the Black male image is supposedly being destroyed by The Prancing Elite. That’s right, a show about a J-setting group of gay men from Alabama will supposedly be the downfall of the black man.

More specifically, alleged academic and theologian Dr. Rick Wallace writes:

There has been an ongoing debate concerning whether the presentation of effeminate black men on TV has any type of influence on those who watch it. Despite a significant amount of documented and published data that provides pragmatic and empirical evidence that substantiates the fact that any mental stimuli that enters the human subconscious via sight or hearing has the capacity to impact the perceptual mechanisms of the human psyche, subsequently conditioning or brainwashing the thought processes, there is a consistent consensus by blacks that TV programming cannot possibly have an impact on human behavior.

In other words, “Y’all mythological ni**as is comical. My astronomical is coming through like the flu, bombing you ….” Or in layman’s terms, some dumb Keith Murray-inspired psychobabble. Seriously, someone needs to let some folks know that a string of big words doesn’t necessarily make you sound smart. But getting to his point:

It is no coincidence that the black male image is under assault from two different extremes in the media. There is one extreme that is presenting an image that portrays black males as violent thugs, which enforces the perceived image that black men are born with a proclivity to behave violently and to live a life of crime. The other end of the spectrum presents a nonthreatening effeminate black men who lack any threatening characteristics. Although the purpose behind these two different approaches have different secondary motives, the primary motive is the same — to destroy the image of the black man. Although how we are perceived by the masses directly impacts how non-blacks and non-Americans will contextually frame the slaughter and mass incarceration of black men, my primary concern is the lack of positive role models in the media for our young black boys. This would not be such an issue if media programming wasn’t glorified so much by black adults.

If that is not ridiculous enough, he adds:

We shouldn’t be surprised that Oprah is selling a warped image of black men to America. Oprah, 61, was raped at age nine and pregnant by age 14. She repeatedly reminds us that she was sexually abused by men, and even claimed that Bill Cosby tried to rape her.Oprah and the media would like nothing more than to present The Prancing Elites as the perfect role models for young black boys.

Black men are slowly marching towards extinction. The pool of available black men is shrinking. For every 100 black women in America there are only 83 black men — and roughly half of those men are gay or bisexual (down low). The NY Times recently conducted a study that shows 1.5 million black men are missing. The single largest gap of missing black men in America is in Ferguson, MO.

First off, Oprah doesn’t have anything to do with Oxygen. She has a network called the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN for short. Secondly, bringing up the fact that Oprah was molested as a child to use it in a half-baked theory about an alleged vendetta she has against all Black men is just plain tackle and offensive (and shows how little one cares about sexual abuse of children to begin with). Not to mention, I have never once heard or read anything about her allegedly accusing Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her. You would think that someone who proudly claims to have a Ph.D. would be more adept at research and fact-checking.

It would be easy to brush off this essay, with its glaring mistakes and wild conspiracy theories, as just the hare-brained thoughts of someone who likely needs to get his meds adjusted. But the problem is that too many of us, who are supposed to be sane and rational people, buy into it. Too many of us are passing around this essay, or worse, writing similar sentiments of concern about how Black gay men and Black women like Oprah, whose only fault is that she is successful, are hurting the image of black men. And too many of us, who should be worried about real threats to the community, particularly our sons, are taking this snake oil as the gospel, or worse, as legitimate discourse.

And it is all dangerous. First of all, it is victim blaming. These sentiments expressed by Dr. Wallace and others of his ilk give us nothing but false impressions that there is something within us that needs to be corrected in order for whatever aggression, which is happening to us, to cease. If only we would pull up our pants. If only we would embrace our African roots. If only women would return to the kitchen and stop putting weaves in their heads. If only we would stop being Black gay men and become “real men.” If only we would stop rioting and resisting. If only, if only, if only…

Yet all the adherence to social order and the status quo – to the point that we have more college graduates, black professionals, and a thriving black middle class than ever before – has done little to stem the tide of the school-to-prison pipeline, which has not only criminalized our young men, but is now targeting our young women and painting them as aggressive and unfeminine. Nor has our adherence to social order, including gender and sexual roles, acted as a shield against killer cops, who have killed just as many straight fathers and husbands as they have gay ones.

And our meekness has not aided us when dealing with the racist justice system, which can’t seem to convict a corrupt killer cop, even if they are on camera killing our black a**es, but has no problem locking up your cousins and brothers in the millions for crimes as trivial as a few traffic violations. Nor has it helped us receive equal treatment in the medical community, or equal funding for public schools predominated by Black and brown children, or equal pay for Black women, who earn less than just about every other ethnic group in this country. Being a Black straight man has not been the answer to the growing opposition to affirmative action or support for racial profiling. Being Black straight males and Black women who are not Oprah hasn’t done anything to cure the effects of institutional racism. Heck, even in spite of the widespread belief that there is a gay agenda, none of that alleged covert planning has done anything to help our gay, bisexual, and trans men and women who too find themselves routinely harassed by the police at rates much higher than their white counterparts.

Our salvation will only come from unity. The kind of unity that includes people holding each other’s hands while we look our enemy in the eyes and call it a liar. The kind that recognizes that while we fight and divide among ourselves, there are forces out here capitalizing, commercializing, stealing and killing us. The kind that knows that regardless of our gender and sexual orientation or what tribe/ethnic group we originate from (yeah, I’m talking to you xenophobic folks in South Africa), we are all brothers and sisters in the same struggle. And any conversation, which seeks to place the burden and blame on one segment of us, is not only counterproductive, but shows that the person who started that conversation (and those who buy into this divisive hogwash) was emasculated a long time ago.

In short, we’ve got to do better.

Bye Chicago! Oprah Shuts Down Harpo Studios, Lays Off 200 Employees

March 4th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

“And you don’t get a job, and you don’t get a job! Nobody gets a job!” Oprah Winfrey, the talk show host legend, is laying off 200 employees as she shuts down the iconic Harpo Studios in Chicago and moves to Los Angeles, The Hollywood Reporter said.

This isn’t the end of Winfrey’s empire, though; it’s the beginning. Winfrey, creator of the OWN network, is expanding to newer horizons in a newly-constructed three-floor locale in West Hollywood.

“The time had come to downsize this part of the business and to move forward. It will be sad to say goodbye, but I look ahead with such a knowing that what the future holds is even more than I can see,” Winfrey told THR.

The Harpo offices in Chicago stopped shooting shows for OWN on Tuesday.

“Though the Chicago lease continues through April 2016, Winfrey and her key executives intend to stop the back-and-forth routine they’ve been balancing for nearly half a decade sooner than that,” THR added.

Two hundred employees will be left behind and a small number of Chicago-based Harpo staffers will join a team of 140 OWN members in Los Angeles.

The expansion to Los Angeles is a bittersweet moment for 61-year-old Winfrey. Chicago was, after all, Harpo Studios’ home for almost three decades:

“[Chicago has] been everything for me. I’ve spent more hours in this building than I have any other building on Earth. …We were here when there was nothing but hoes and rats on the street, and now it’s one of the hottest neighborhoods [in Chicago],” Winfrey said.

The 26-year-old multimedia production company sold its four-building campus to real estate developer Sterling Bay Cos. for $30.5 million.

Winfrey doesn’t have much time for tears, though; the talk show titan has a plethora of upcoming projects on her plate. The talk show titan plans to move in front of the camera as an actress for  OWN’s Queen Sugar, which is written, directed, and produced by Selma‘s Ava DuVernay.

“At OWN, Queen Sugar will join a quartet of Tyler Perry-scripted series — all of which recently secured additional episode orders — as well as the upcoming two-night Octavia Spencerled miniseries, Tulsa, already in development,” THR said.

Outside of OWN, Winfrey is slated to play Richard Pryor’s grandmother in Lee Daniels’ upcoming Pryor biopic.

“I love telling the real stories of peoples’ lives, and now we get to create them, make them up, and I get to be part of them as an actor…” Winfrey said.

Oprah Ranks Number 603 On ‘Forbes’ 2015 Billionaire List

March 2nd, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Getty

Today, Forbes released their annual 2015 Billionaire list and surprisingly Mother Oprah came in at number 603 ranking.

First, it should be noted that there are an eye-popping number of billionaires in the world. But besides that, Forbes has a detailed methodology that they use to compile their list: they value the individuals’ assets, which include stakes in public and private companies, their real estate, yachts, art and cash. They also take into account the billionaires’ estimated amount of debt. Instead of focusing on those who come from multi-generational families of wealth, Forbes ranks billionaires as individuals. Forbes also does not include royal family members or dictators whose fortune comes from their particular position of power.

Bill Gates continues to be the richest man in the world — a title he has had for 16 of the last 21 years. His assets have increased to $79.2 billion despite giving $1.5 billion to his charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mark Zuckerburg is currently a part of the top 20 billionaires on the planet, a first for the millennial billionaire who invented Facebook while he was an undergrad at Harvard University.

Aliko Dangote of Nigeria saw his fortune decrease $14.7 billion from $25 billion. This was caused by a weaker Nigerian currency and lower demand for cement (where he receives his largest revenue from). Despite his assets decreasing, Dangote is still the richest man from Africa.

As for Oprah, she closed out 2014 by promoting the award winning film Selma, which her production company Harpo Films helped produced. Her OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) television company had low ratings when it initially started, however ratings are currently soaring through the roof thanks to actor/director Tyler Perry’s hit dramas and sitcoms.

Besides working on film and television, Oprah had a sold out 2014 ‘The Life You Want’ national tour of self-help teachings. Winfrey also earns funds from spin-off shows that she help create such as Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray and Dr. Oz.

Also worth noting, legendary basketball player Michael Jordan is a newcomer to the list, the 1,741 richest person with a net worth of $1 billion. Jordan makes $100 million from royalties from his Nike Air Jordan line. He also purchased 80 percent of the Charlotte Bobcats, which was valued at $275 million in March 2010. His ownership jumped to 89 percent in 2013, reports ESPN.

View the entire Forbes 2015 Billionaire list, here.

Give Them Their Flowers Now: Black Women Who Will Go Down In The History Books For Their Contributions

February 27th, 2015 - By Erica R. Williams
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WENN

They’re bold visionaries who are an inspiration to not just black women, but all women. And just like many of the women who have come before them, they will go down in history for their contributions and accomplishments. But instead of waiting to celebrate them long after they’re gone, it’s only fitting to recognize their accomplishments now.

Some are more familiar than others; but each of them are playing a major role in changing the world and the representation of black women, and we appreciate them for that.

So as we prepare to close Black History Month, let’s celebrate our sisters who are paving the way for us all.

Style To Steal Or Girl, Stop? Black Folks Doing It Big, And Bad, At The 2015 Academy Awards

February 22nd, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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It’s Hollywood’s biggest night, and while black folks might not have picked up many nominations (Selma is nominated in the Best Picture category, and “Glory” is nominated for Best Original Song), I was quite surprised to see how many of our stars showed up for the the big ceremony. What are they looking like? I have all their looks for you to see, and talk about, here. So who looked amazing and who didn’t? Let’s chat!

 

2015 Academy Awards

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Lupita Nyong’o

In a custom Calvin Klein gown, Lupita returned to the Academy Awards red carpet a year after winning. Her heavily adorned pearl dress with its open back and keyhole detail is one-of-a-kind, and she definitely looks one-of-a-kind on the carpet. And while I like what they’ve tried to with her hair recently, I actually prefer this close, cropped and curled look. Steal!

You’ll Never Guess Which Hollywood Actresses Tyler Perry Selected To Be His Son’s Godmothers

February 16th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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the legendary Cicely Tyson and I celebrating @tylerperry's new baby boy. Gospel christening !

A photo posted by Oprah (@oprah) on

Over the weekend, while you were enjoying Valentine’s Day festivities with your bae, Tyler Perry and his ladylove Gelila Bekele were celebrating the christening of their son, Aman Tyler Bekele-Perry. The star-studded ceremony was held in the backyard of Perry’s Beverly Hills home inside of a custom-built church.

“I had this church built in my backyard. It’s almost a direct replica of the one my Mother grew up in. It was in her honor. I know she was with us in spirit,” Tyler expressed on Facebook.

The program for the dedication ceremony included Pastor Smokie Norful, Vashawn Mitchell, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Hudson and Bill and Kori Withers.

Tyler and Gelila decided to name Cicely Tyson, Oprah Winfrey and Oliver Ripley as little Aman’s godparents.

It looks like everyone had an amazing time. Check out photos from the ceremony below and on the following pages.

Cynthia Bond’s Novel “Ruby” Appears On Oprah’s Book Club

February 10th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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WENN/Cynthia Bond

WENN/Cynthia Bond

 

 

From The Grio 

From the very first sentence, Oprah Winfrey loved what became her latest book club pick.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is so good I have to wait until I actually have the time to absorb the language,’” said Winfrey, during a recent telephone interview with The Associated Press, of Cynthia Bond’s novel “Ruby.”

“I put it down and waited until I was in bed with the flu to start reading it. I found the language and descriptions so vividly compelling that sometimes I would have to take a breath and repeat the sentences out loud.”

Winfrey’s choice, coming out in paperback Tuesday and announced to the AP, is a debut novel published last year to positive reviews and moderate sales. Bond’s publisher, Hogarth, understandably expects that to change and has commissioned a paperback printing of 250,000 copies. The hardcover currently has 20,000 copies in print, according to Hogarth, an imprint of Penguin Random House, and is available as an e-book. As with Winfrey’s three previous picks since relaunching her club as “Oprah’s Book Club 2.0″ in 2012, she will focus on online promotion, through her own website (www.oprah.com) and through Twitter, Instagram and other social media.

Read more about Cynthia Bond’s novel, “Ruby” at TheGrio.com