Tag Archives Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey Donating $12M to New African-American Museum

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Oprah Winfrey is giving $12 million to a museum being built on Washington’s National Mall that will document African-American life.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture announced the gift Tuesday and said the museum’s 350-seat theater will be named after Winfrey. Winfrey previously gave the museum $1 million, and the museum says her $13 million total contribution is the museum’s largest to date.

President Barack Obama helped break ground on the $500 million museum in early 2012. When it’s finished, the museum will be the 19th Smithsonian museum and will house artifacts including Harriet Tubman’s shawl, Emmett Till’s casket and a Jim Crow-era segregated railroad car.

The U.S. government is providing half of the funding for the museum, which is expected to open in late 2015.Oprah Winfrey is giving $12 million to a museum being built on Washington’s National Mall that will document African-American life.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture announced the gift Tuesday and said the museum’s 350-seat theater will be named after Winfrey. Winfrey previously gave the museum $1 million, and the museum says her $13 million total contribution is the museum’s largest to date.

President Barack Obama helped break ground on the $500 million museum in early 2012. When it’s finished, the museum will be the 19th Smithsonian museum and will house artifacts including Harriet Tubman’s shawl, Emmett Till’s casket and a Jim Crow-era segregated railroad car.

The U.S. government is providing half of the funding for the museum, which is expected to open in late 2015.

 

Oprah Reminds Us EXACTLY Why We Love Her And Just How It Is She Came To Be On Top

By Posted on 58 1 m read

It’s graduation season and celebrities have been snapped , or have snapped photos from various commencement ceremonies around the US. The pinnacle of graduations though occurred in Cambridge, MA. and featured Oprah Winfrey as the keynote.

After receiving her own honorary doctorate degree from America’s most prestigious institution of higher education, Oprah went on to address the graduating class of 2013. O held everyone’s attention with her very candid, inspirational and light-hearted speech that touched on moments ranging from her humble beginnings in Mississippi to the the tragedy earlier this year at Sandy Hook Elementary. Opening with a story of how the invitation to speak at Harvard’s Commencement Ceremony motivated her to turn the teetering OWN in the right direction.

Watch the full speech here and let us know what your favorite piece of wisdom is!

From Oprah Winfrey to Michelle Obama: Overcoming Adversity as a Black Woman

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“African women in general need to know that it’s OK for them to be the way they are – to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.” – Wangari Maathai

Some say that Black women are born with two strikes: gender and race.  Others take it even further with homosexuality, citing it as the third factor to guarantee life on eggshells.  But why would you allow anyone to dictate your own fate?  Even if they look like you.

In society, some of the harshest criticism and discouragement we receive come from those we love and respect the most.  While many feel like they have the comfort to speak their mind, often times they are unaware of their insensitivity to the issue because of their relationship.

And while advice from everyone of all backgrounds and ethnicities can put in some great words of encouragement as well, ultimately, your life is up to you. Who and what you allow to affect your happiness, will and drive for success is based on your determination. We all feel it, but those who overcome it have risen beyond their own dreams.

The best advice you can ever receive will always come from you.  Your instincts.  Learning to understand what you want, the next step is in finding out how to get it.  Realistically, these so-called “strikes” will come up several times in your journey.  But they will only stop you if you allow them to take out your dreams.  Dream while living. You need to make moves to grab what you want.

Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama have warmed up to each other, I’m sure, for far more factors than being two successful black women.  But undoubtedly, it’s also one of the central points of connection.  Below are two videos to demonstrate why.  With two very different instances in overcoming criticism and discouragement, the First Lady explains how she overcame, while Winfrey demonstrates a very personal battle she survived, one of the most jaw-dropping videos known to date.

First Lady Michelle Obama on growing up and the will to prosper.

Oprah attacked by her audience and a special guest

Michelle O’s advice trickled down to learning to love yourself. If you know who you are, no one can convince you that you’re otherwise.

Oprah proved this same thing through a much more tumultuous scenario. Not once did she lose composure, nor did she lash back out. Winfrey was able to stand strong and hold her ground throughout the show, demonstrating esteem and security within and of herself.

The most valuable lesson you’ll ever learn in life is about who you are, what you want, and the means of which you’ll go to get them… as well as the means in which you won’t.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

– Paulo Coelho

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Jazzi Johnson

Will Diddy’s “REVOLT” Be The Tip of Black Television’s Revolution?

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"REVOLT" "television" "comcast" "channel"

For decades, BET (Black Entertainment Television) has been the main source for young African-American targeted programming.  But today, there seems to be a slow-creep towards a turn-around.  BET-Jazz was the initial spin-off of BET in 1996, and with its new outlook and name, Centric TV serves as a variety channel, targeting the elder audience of the past BET generation.  But the hottest sensations on the horizon is the recent newcomers in the past ten years of Cathy Hughes’ TV One, Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, Martin Luther King III’s Bounce TV and the projected projects of Kin TV, Black Heritage Network, and now, Diddy’s REVOLT.

The most important aspect of them all, is that they’re offering a variety of programming.  Most of which fulfills what many African-Americans and other viewers have felt an absence of since the dramatic BET changes in 2005.  These included the cuts of Comic View, Video Soul, Teen Summit, Rap City: Tha Basement and BET Nightly News to name a few.

TV One, for instance, has two new programmings that have hit major with its audience.  These include “Unsung” and “Find Our Missing”.  “Unsung,” a music documentary television show, highlights the greats of soul, contemporary r&b, and hip hop mostly from the 1950s to 1980s.  And “Find Our Missing” focuses on missing African-Americans who are rarely covered in local and international news.

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network is starting to kick up speed as well, after initially lacking in ratings following the disassembling of her popular daytime talk show.  Just recently, OWN has taken the step to “target” larger African-American audiences after its successful reality show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s”.  Keeping in diversity with “The Rosie Show”, “Our America With Lisa Ling”, and Suze Orman’s “America’s Money Class”, the network is also picking up with “Oprah’s Life Class”.  With great programming, the issue is faced in finding the perfect target audience to keep the momentum afloat.

Bounce TV, which launched this past September, currently showcases everything from”HBCU Basketball” to “Judge Hatchett”, “Speed Dating”, and “Teen Kids News”.  Black Heritage Network (BHN) is slated to launch some time this year, with anticipated programming dedicated to original programming detailing historical archives of athletes, leaders, and influences from all walks of life.  And Kin TV is slated to be the next best mix of lifestyle, drama, comedy, mystery and local news.

Meanwhile, Sean ‘Diddy’ Comb’s REVOLT network has peaked an interest in many because of the decline in actual music television programming.  Other than BET’s famed “106 & Park,” other music shows such as MTV2’s hip-hop programming and Vh1’s early morning Pop-Up Video, a variety of videos are hard to find at any given time of the day.  In fact, videos have been taken off of Music Television’s (MTV) programming entirely, and reality television and scripted works have taken precedent on BET, MTV, and Vh1 alike.

Soon, no one will have a reason (other than monetary) to complain about a lack of available (and dignifying) Black programming on television.  Even if African-Americans continue to be overlooked on the long-standing traditional channels, the first step in changing the rules is creating your own.  Pave the way for yourselves, and support the leaders in front of you, if they’re properly guiding the way.

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Why You Should Trot With “Red Tails”

By Posted on 58 2 m read

"George Lucas" "African American" "Black audience" "Terrence Howard" "Cuba Gooding Jr"

George Lucas, Oprah Winfrey,  Tyler Perry, and Cornel West is the least of reasons why you should support this new film.  Dedicated to the  first African American military aviators in the US Armed Forces, the story of these 3,000 Tuskegee Airmen has even more importance today.  While facing hardships of Jim Crow Laws and racial segregation, they went on to become the most celebrated success story of World War II.  As compelling as the story sounds on its own, the American audience holds more responsibility in acknowledging these men, by simply paying the buck to appreciate their efforts.

George Lucas, the prominent producer, screenwriter, and director of “Star Wars,” “Labyrinth,” and “Indiana Jones” to name  a few,  spoke openly about the hardships he faced in finding financial support for the all-Black cast attached.  With no White lead, Lucas was determined to meet the finale of the film’s production, having financed $60 million of his own money for the film.

Tyler Perry penned this supportive note for Lucas’ efforts, and publications, public figures and networks such as BET have been pushing for audiences all around to prove to Hollywood that an all-black cast can be as successful as any other movie in theaters, (which was proven in 1992 with Spike Lee’s biopic “Malcolm X”).  Just as Lee had Denzel Washington, the cast is full of noteable actors from Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Tristan Wilds, Elijah Kelley, Michael B. Jordan, Ne-Yo and Method Man.

The most popular topic today was noticeably raised on The Grio: “If the film flops, are Black audiences to blame?”  The simplest answer is yes and no.  Yes, I believe that more than any other time, this movie is one that should be supported by a wide range of Black audiences, but we should not (and could not) be the defining matter in the success story of this film.  African-Americans make up (roughly) 12% of the US population, while White Americans make up (roughly) 72% of the nation.

Not only would it be a bit idiotic to blame Black people for such a fail, it’d be completely irresponsible and naive.  Nonetheless, the more people see and hear about it from others, the more the momentum for the movie will spread and sprout.  So if you do see the movie and you love it, encourage the people you know to see it too, and/or tag them along with you.  This story is more than a great historical lesson for all Americans, it remains to be a great starting point towards a revolution in Hollywood, which I recently discussed here just a few days ago.  Pay a few bucks for the ride with the “Red Tails” and let us know your thoughts on the movie!

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