Some are born lucky, with golden and silver spoons. But when one is born shackled by an endemic racist society - and stripped of basic human dignity - what do you do? But to
rise, regardless, in iconic proportions, is the stuff miracles are made of. That is the Oprah Winfrey story comparable to a weighty biblical story .
So when Oprah talks, we’d better listen! The following are edited extracts of a presentation Oprah delivered at a women’s empowerment summit on June 7, 2018:
To the highest bidder
“In my living room right now is the painting that I have owned for 30 years; you can google it. It’s called, “To the highest bidder.” It’s at the
“And in my
“And I sometimes just pause before them with a prayer, particularly before I have to make a big decision about one of my companies, or whether I move forward or whether I stay still. It reminds me - speaking those names out loud - not only of where I have come from but how far I have to go because of them, and it reminds me that I am never alone.”
The artificial boundaries
“It reminds me of what I have come through to get through. And even when I find myself in settings where I am the only black woman, still, that kind of singularity, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. And I gotta tell you it
“But these days it simply makes me wonder, though, when I’m still the only woman or person of
“So these moments when I walk into the room just as cool as you please and I’m the only person of
“I already embody the truth of Maya Angelou’s wise words when she said, I come as one but I’m as ten thousand. I come as one but I stand ten thousand. I stand not only as ten thousand, I stand as ten thousand to the tenth power. I stand. I stand as a solid rock. I stand. I stand because I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
“And I am more than the seed of the tree that Langston Hughes talked about in ‘the Poor and Negro Mother’. I am the fruit. I am the flower. I am the blossoming tree. And I shall not be moved. Ain’t I a woman? And when I walk with that ten thousand, this
“She used to say to me, ‘Baby, your crown has been paid for. All you got to do is put it on your head and wear it.’ So when we come into this museum, we get to see how the crowns were laid for us. That’s what you did for us. You laid the crowns out for us so we can see in plain view. We get to see and feel that sense of connection to the past that allows us to step out of our history and step into a future that is brighter than any of them could have ever imagined.”