Oprah has been an awesome role model in so many ways. Yet, I think the time when an individual black person's personal success should be looked upon as uplifting the entire race is 20 or 30 years in the past.
As Ava DuVernay has said,
"If your dream only includes yourself, it's too small."
I say that we have to look at how Oprah's dreams manifested themselves for black and female others at this point.
She made Iyanla Vanzant famous. Her best friend Gail can be seen on a network near you. There used to be a couple of black regulars on THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, like psychologists and relationship experts.
Tyler Perry and Daniel Uncle Ruckus Lee, whom she also supported to superstar status, are mixed bags at best; their stories I've already told more than once.
So now I am pretty much focused on how Oprah will move for black women in the next decade or two
Oprah Winfrey came along too early in this country's racial history to move like Shonda Rhimes, to be able to give every black woman she can a show and/or a chance at directing episodes etc. She's had success after success because she's a hard worker while not being much of a risk taker within white supremacy. She even toned down her enthusiasm for Senator Obama when he was running for President in 2007 and 2008 in order to keep her predominantly white audience from whining at her.
As rich and influential as she is, her not being more of a risk taker has probably been a double edged sword for dozens more black people she could have given their first shot.
Still, Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay have been able to take affirmative action toward being unapologetically pro-black woman in the age of Obama precisely because Oprah broke through certain doors first.
Oprah is a ceiling breaker by any measure. And her OWN network is now becoming what it always should have been thanks to Ava DuVernay. If you haven't seen QUEEN SUGAR on OWN yet, you're missing something special.
May she live long and seek out and support more more black and brown women and their creative content as the years continue.
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Her magazine could stand quite a bit more color too. Even the ads should be 1/3 people of color, so it looks more like America.
Wouldn't it be something if she stopped with the 'let's be hopeful' nonsense and started tearing at Mean Tangerine like she meant business too?