“Need Some Perspective?” Oprah Reads Slave Documents When She Needs To Be Reminded That She’s Got This
Oprah Winfrey looks to the past for perspective, saying that reading slave documents reminds her that whatever crossroads she faces, they’re nothing compared to literally being bought and sold for a price.
Oprah appeared on The Goop, a new podcast hosted by actress Gwyneth Paltrow. As the podcast’s first guest on their newly-launched chat show, Oprah, of course, dropped a million and one gems. But one stood out that captured a lot of attention.
Do you ever find yourself needing some perspective? We all have moments when we think a new challenge might be the death of us, but what do we do to overcome that temporary feeling and situation?
For Oprah, the mogul reads slave documents because “…no crisis seems that much of a crisis after you look at the names, the ages, the prices of people who were before you – who made this way possible,” she said.
And she reads the names aloud!
“I will speak their names out loud. I will speak their names out loud — Douglas, and Jenna, and Carrie, and Sarah and Anna — and their ages, and their prices, and remind myself of how far I have come,” she declared.
This apparently snaps her back into reality that she is THE Oprah Gail Winfrey, a black woman who, if it weren’t for these names, she wouldn’t have been able to be who she is today – a media mogul, life teacher, and philanthropist of all that she can possibly give.
The 64-year-old Mississippi native also told Paltrow that she has another reminder of this hanging up on her wall. She bought a 1906 painting by Harry Herman Roseland’s titled “To The Highest Bidder,” her first major art piece that she purchased in 1988 that features a slave woman and her child.
“The most important, though not most expensive [piece of art], in my home is a picture of a slave woman on the auction block with her daughter,” she explained. “When you come in my house, that’s the first thing you see and that is the grounding painting for me.”
“That woman, who I’ve named Anna and her daughter Sarah, I don’t even know their story, but I know their story.”
What do you think about this way of gaining perspective? Would you considering adopting it?