Sunday, 2 November 2014

Oprah Winfrey

Who is Oprah Winfrey? says "Billionaire Oprah Winfrey is best known for hosting her own internationally popular talk show from 1986 to 2011. She is also an actress, philanthropist, publisher and producer."
Oprah Winfrey is a household name in the US, and even in England. Even if someone doesn't really know what Oprah does they usually know she is a African-American woman. It is this link that Oprah has with race which adds such significance to her success.

Forbes have given Oprah a 'self-made score' of 10 (10 being absolutely self-made with no wealth coming from her family inheritance) and as of 1/11/2014 her net worth is at $3 billion. 

Oprah was born 10 years before the Civil Rights act of 1964 took place, this act made it illegal to discriminate based on race and gender as well as other factors, so for the first 10 years of her life as an African-American female discrimination was more than legal, it was the done thing. Following the Civil Rights movements through the mid-sixties this opened a huge number of opportunities for black people and women and it meant that Oprah was able to go onto University which is an option that just 20 years before she may not have had or it would have been a black-only University.

From University Oprah gained recognition on a Radio show from which she was asked to host A.M. Chicago for 8 years and she then went on to host her own TV show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. So why does Oprah have an influence on race in the USA? It's possibly because she has proved to so many African-American's that not only has an African-Americn 'made it to the big leagues' but she is a woman also which shows that this white male dominance is a thing of the past. Anyone who says that problems in race haven't changed much in the past 60 years I would ask them to look at Oprah Winfrey and tell me that racial equality hasn't changed dramatically for the better.

Another question to ask is has Oprah contributed to racial equality?
Yes I believe she has, Oprah is one of the most influential women in the USA and just because she hasn't been the leader of any political parties against racism does not mean she hasn't changed peoples views on race. In fact she has managed to change views on race right in their living rooms on their TV sets.

Race issues are ever changing but it is easy to say that someone like Oprah has had a positive impact on the way race is viewed and dealt with in popular culture and society.


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