Oprah Winfrey

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint — and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”

Oprah Winfrey

(b. January 29, 1954)

Oprah Winfrey is an American television personality, actress, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Her syndicated daily talk show was among the most popular of the genre because she focused especially on women and equality issues. She created a forum for the many issues of the day to be discussed out in the open, for example, candidly sharing her experience as a sexual abuse survivor. This created an intelligent and heartfelt space for survivors to acknowledge their pain, which rarely had been discussed before.

She has continued to use her influence for the betterment of racial and sexual equality. She created the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation whose mission is: “… to lead — to educate — to uplift — to inspire — and to empower women and children throughout the world … It is a lasting mission of fulfillment — of teaching, learning and growing.”

This painting is based on Oprah’s telling of the story of the beautiful painting by Harry Roseland, “To the Highest Bidder.” It hangs in her foyer, and captures the likeness of an enslaved woman and her young daughter. In the room adjoining the foyer, the walls are filled with authentic bills of sale forms from slave auctions and she thanks the enslaved people regularly because she realizes her success is built upon their suffering.

The short list:

  • Used her media power to create discussion on racial inequality, sexual abuse, spirituality, etc.
  • Many of the talk show’s episodes focused on women’s personal power.
  • Created many charitable outlets to empower women and children.
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