Black History Month Spotlight: Oprah Winfrey

Black History Month Spotlight: Oprah Winfrey

In honor of Black History Month, Glasgow students celebrate people who have impacted the world in which we live. The next spotlight will be on the renowned celebrity, entrepreneur and businesswoman, Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey is an African American talk-show host that was born on January 29th, 1954. Her childhood proved to be a challenge. She had a single mother and didn’t have a lot growing up. By the age of 19, she was a co-anchor for her local news show and eventually moved to Chicago where she made a 3rd ranked talk show to number one on the charts.

Across her career, she has written a variety of books, a magazine, and her most well known accomplishment, “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” It was the highest rated TV show of it’s kind at the time. It ran from 1986 – 2011 with a total of 25 seasons. Her magazine, O ran from 2000 – 2020 and millions of copies were sold. Additionally, she created a television network called OWN which is the abbreviation of “Oprah Winfrey Network.” 

Her success led to her being a billionaire and she was crowned the richest African American of the 19th century and the first African American woman to become a billionaire. Additionally, she used to be the only Black billionaire in the world. Other achievements are things like how she created a 10 million dollar leadership program for girls in South Africa in 2002. In 2013, she was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Oprah has also been an actress in various movies. In 1998, she was the star in the movie Beloved and produced a film called Their Eyes Were Watching God. She can also be heard in animated movies like Charlotte’s Web, The Princess and the Frog, and The Bee Movie.

Oprah is important to the Glasgow community for various reasons. She shows resilience and confidence. Despite her not having as many luxuries and not coming from a place where she could get good media experience, she persevered. She’s gone through backlash and challenges through her life but that hasn’t slowed her down. Her traits lead to her being one of the most accomplished people in the world. She inspires people to this day because she never gave up but she never lost sight of who she was.