10 Reasons Why Oprah Is My SHe-Ro

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  1. Oprah Gail Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She lived with her grandmother and then with her mother. At 14, she gave birth to a premature baby, who died shortly after birth. At 19, Winfrey landed her first job as a reporter at WVOL radio station in Nashville. Shortly afterward, she enrolled at Tennessee State University in Nashville. During her freshman year, Winfrey won several pageants, including “Miss Black Nashville ” and “Miss Tennessee” in 1971. She was offered a job by the local CBS television station but declined the position. After graduating in 1976, she accepted a job offer from WJZ-TV, the ABC affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland. In January 1984, Winfrey moved to Chicago to host “A.M. Chicago” for WLS-TV. Later, the show was renamed to The Oprah Winfrey Show.
  2. The Oprah Winfrey Show has been the No. 1 talk show for 23 consecutive seasons, seen by an estimated 42 million viewers a week in the United States and broadcast internationally in 134 countries.
  3. O-Magazine-coverOprah also runs a magazine (O) that’s coming up on its 10th year; a production studio, Harpo; a Web site, Oprah.com; a satellite radio show; a Broadway production arm; and a book club that’s widely revered for its power to make or break book sales.
  4. OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, is set to debut in January 2011 in more than 70 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.
  5. She is #45 on Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Powerful People, 141 on the list of Richest Americans, and #41 on the list of the 100 Most Powerful Women.
  6. If her wealth and endeavors weren’t enough, she helped to launch the careers of Rachael Ray and Dr. Phil, whose shows she produces. She will premiere The Dr. Oz Show this fall, Harpo’s spinoff of frequent Oprah guest Dr. Mehmet Oz.
  7. In 2007, Oprah opened The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, a school for girls in the town of Henley-on-Klip outside Johannesburg. Her vision is to groom future leaders for South Africa.
  8. Oprah produced The Women of Brewster Place, Beloved, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Debaters and Precious.
  9. E508_oprah-winfreyOprah starred/costarred in The Color Purple (“you told Harpo to beat me….”), The Women of Brewster Place, Beloved, Charlotte’s Web, Bee Movie, and The Princess and the Frog. She’s rumored to have a part in the upcoming movie For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
  10. This is totally superficial, but I’ve LOVED Oprah’s hair ever since I first watched her show with my mom.

Now that I’ve shared one of my she-roes with you, share some of your heroes and sheroes with me. Who inspires you to dream big?

10 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why Oprah Is My SHe-Ro

  1. I have to agree with you….Oprah is my She-ro as well!!! I love that she had humble beginnings and have been able to rise to the top by following her heart and passion. Thanks for your top 10.

    1. thanks Patrenia! I love that too. That she started off on the wrong foot, turned her life around and had others around her to support her vision and nurture her talent. She is one of the most inspiring people that I know of.

  2. My favorite She-Ro has to be Madame CJ Walker. I read 2 biographies about her & walked away amazed & inspired. If she could achieve what she did in the VERY difficult times she was living in, surely I can do something, too with all of the opportunities today!

    To a certain extent I even admire Tyra Banks. She had the sense to realize that being a model wouldn’t last forever, made a plan, stuck to it & things seem to be going well for her.

    Applause for ALL Motivated Sistas doing their thing!!!

    1. Madame CJ really inspired me when I was younger – because she took what she knew and turned it into an empire. Isn’t she a wonderful She-ro! Thanks for mentioning her biographies, I think I will read about her too. One can never have too many heroes/she-roes!

  3. Anilia, Thanks for the reading about one of the most inspirational persons I know. I LOVE me some Oprah! Another one who inspires me alot is Judge Greg Mathis. Keep motivating, sistah!

  4. It is so great to see AA women praising Oprah. Oprah is my Shero. I have spoken with too many AA people for whatever their reasoning state they do not like her anymore. This one guy said, “I think she is fake.” My question is what do people want her to do…walk on water. My supervisor from nigeria stated that she does not like Oprah and that her people laughs at Oprah. Why is this? Because she and Steadman is not married. Can you believe that is her reasoning? Yes, I understand she would have been a great example to AA women get married and stop being a booty call. Like Tiger she can make mistakes; however, she continuously gives back to as many people as possible.

    Yes, she could have a few more professional AA people as regular commentators. If someone told me over and over I do not watch your show then why would I continue to air programs geared towards you? On the other hand, many AA’s can show support for Tiger and other AA males who continue to do wrong. Our priorities are mixed up. As other BWE bloggers says, “Do not support people who do not support you.”

    1. Ann, I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog and thank you for your comments. I think alot of black people feel a sense of entitlement to black women. I don’t see any complaints that Robert Johnson, another black American billionaire, is fake or doesn’t do enough for black people. Some don’t credit her for the South African school, saying “she doesn’t do anything for black people here”. Like you said – I’m not sure exactly what it is they expect her to do!

  5. Oprah is amazing! I’ve been inspired by her stregnth for all of the reasons you mentioned and the fact that she never stops persevering. I am also inspired by Dr. Maya Angelou who is just PHENOMENAL! She’s so strong, powerful, and so open in the messages she shares through her poetry. Mo’Nique, Pearl Cleage, Queen Latifah, Cicely Tyson, bell hooks, the list could go on and on. There’s so many!

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