Oprah Winfrey Essay

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah has become a name in the entertainment industry that stands on its own much like Madonna or even Cher. For the uninformed who think Oprah is just another gabby talk show host, guess again. Anyone who has ever watched "The Oprah Winfrey Show" knows that it stands in a rank all of its own. There is something very different about this black talk show host- she is real. Oprah's key personality factor is her "vulnerability". She is not afraid to expose her own doubts, emotions, problems, failures, and even fears to her millions of viewers. "The reason I communicate with all these people," she told 60 Minutes' Mike Wallace, "is because I think I'm every woman and I've had every malady and I've been on every diet, and I've
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On the contrary, Oprah is a contemporary Black female who grew up in the segregated South during the 1950's. In choosing such a contemporary figure I realize that I run the risk of encountering deep divisions between those who value Oprah's work and those who feel it is just nonsense entertainment. (We cannot forget that Freud faced the same controversy in his day.) While I may not change anyone's opinion, I can define her creative "work", and show how it differs from anything done before in her field.


Oprah Gail Winfrey was born February 1, 1954, out of wedlock, and into an impoverished farm family in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her parents met on a one day fling in Kosciusko while her father, Vernon Winfrey, was home for the summer in the armed services. Her father and mother never repeated their union after that first time. Vernon didn't even know that Vernita was pregnant. He received word of Oprah's birth while in Alabama when Vernita sent a birth announcement with a note that read "Send Clothes!" (King 30). After the birth of her daughter, Vernita Lee, age 18, was eager to split the farm and head north to Milwaukee, where there was more work and more money to be made. There was no place for a small baby in the big city so the responsibility fell to Vernon Winfrey's mother.

Life with Grandmother was not particularly an easy one for young Oprah.

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