Oprah Winfrey Story : From Poor Raped Victim to the Richest Black WOMAN
Oprah Winfrey is an American talk show host, actress, author, television producer and philanthropist. Here is a story a woman a rape victim, who has risen to the most influential woman of the 20th century. A poor girl risen from the farm village in Mississippi to the richest black woman in the world. She is popularly known for her Show: The Oprah Winfrey Show broadcasted from Chicago which aired for 25 seasons (1986 to 2011). The show was aired in 120 channels, had 10 million audiences with a gross income of $120million in the first year. Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, she decided to launch her own network called the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN tv) with a partnership from Discovery Communications in 2011 after the Oprah Winfrey Show where she owns 25.5% stake. In June 2018 she went into an agreement with Apple to create original content for them. In September 2019, the Oprah’s Book Club was announced to start streaming on Apple tv. According to Forbes magazine, Winfrey was the richest African American of the 20th century and the world’s only Black billionaire for three years running. She is the richest black woman and North America’s first black multi-billionaire. She is worth 2.6 billion dollars according Forbes.
“She’s probably the most powerful woman in the United States, who can make or break anybody and anything she wishes to… not bad for a poor little black girl from Mississippi”
She is a great philanthropist with many impacts felt on female education in South Africa. Winfrey has focused her philanthropy on education, many students at her girls’ school in South Africa are AIDS orphans, she has donated $425 million throughout her career, including over $100 million to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
Early Life of Opray Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi to an unmarried teenage mother Vernita Lee and a soldier Vernon Winfrey who later turned a barber. Oprah grew up with her grandmother after her unmarried parent separated after her birth. At age 6 she went to stay with her mother at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who didn’t give her much time due to her schedule of being a maid. In 1962 she went to stay with her father in Nashville, Tennessee, due to her mother financial situation.
She attended Lincoln High School in Milwaukee but later transfer to Nicolet High School due to our success in the upward bound program. At 8 years when she went to stay with the father after escaping from a juvenile detention Centre, she attended East Nashville High School where she was part of the school speech that won 2nd position at the National Dramatic Interpretations and she went on to win Elks Club Oratory contest that gave her a scholarship to Tennessee State University.
Problems of Opray Winfrey
• Failed motherhood:
”The past has made me stronger,” Miss Winfrey said. ”Not getting the attention from my mother made me seek it in other places, the wrong places until my father came and got me from my mother in Milwaukee and took me to Nashville where he lived. His discipline channeled my need for love and attention in a new direction.”
• Sexual Abuse: Winfrey was sexually abused by her cousin, uncle and family friend. She even got pregnant at 14 years but lost the child.
• Racism: Oprah Winfrey was born in a time when the was no civil right where black Americans could be killed for trying to vote in the deep south.
LESSONS FROM OPRAH WINFREY
• Maintain your standard and integrity: people tend to lower their standard or even smear their integrity in life when faced with trials, peer pressure, economic pressure and corruption enticement but Oprah tried beating this of has she tried to maintain her standard when faced with the enticement of bringing in tabloid topics to our show in 1994. This action of hers causes an upsurge in the followership of her show.
• Let your story push you to impact your society: Oprah had a difficult childhood growing up, but she put our effort to beat the storyline of a difficult childhood to a world influential figure and now she tries to encourage young girls with the same difficult childhood become a better person like her.
“I went to their homes. I know all of them by name. Their story is my story,”
• Don’t let your past define you: A lot of people allow their past to define them and are always ready to bring up an excuse from their past as the reason they are unsuccessful or have not achieved the goal the set in life for themselves, but Oprah never dwell in our past story of life either of being raped, abuse by friends or family and living in poverty.
”I saw her in the mirror this morning,” Miss Winfrey said in a telephone interview from Chicago. ”I said, ‘Get up, girl, and pull yourself together!”
• Let your past not be your excuse: Crawford Loritts quotes that your past may explain you but it doesn’t excuse you, most people never knew Oprah Winfrey had a past life of rape and sexual abuse from close family members but she never used that as an excuse not to push herself to become a woman she is today in the world,
”For the longest time, I carried this burden around with me and was afraid to tell anybody because I thought it was my fault,” Miss Winfrey said
or the situation of passing through extreme poverty as a tender child with her grandmother like lack of a good dress causing her to often wear dresses made of potato sacks, but she fought for excellence even went on to show it at a tender age of 3 when she was reading bible verse in our local church and the grandmother testify our love to be on stage from that age.
• There is always a second chance: Many people do say: ‘opportunity comes but once’, but not always true as few people do have the courage and second opportunities to correct the errors they have made before. Oprah was lucky to to have this second chance experience after she was put in juvenile detention at 13 and got early pregnancy at 14. Living with her father offered her the second chance to learn discipline and rewrite her wrong history.