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Oprah’s Leadership Academy For Girls Recognizes Seventh Graduating Class

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Over 20 years ago the now 64-year-old invested $40 million of her own money along with her time and energy establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, South Africa. ESSENCE reports that the school recently recognized its seventh graduating class that included 58 young women. The graduation ceremony took place on December 1 with filmmaker Tyler Perry delivering the commencement address.

Perry spoke about Winfrey’s mission to develop and support leaders and change makers:

“Before the ceremony this morning, I spoke to Ms. Winfrey and asked her how she chose the girls.”

“She said she looks for something special, something that sparkles and is unique. Today that is all I saw.”

“I saw all the hope, brilliance and intelligence. Being the chosen one is special and wonderful. It gives you the opportunity to strive and go higher and do things that you would have not had the chance to do.”

Several students were recognized for their exceptional achievements including Nicolle Naidoo who received the award for Top Academic Achiever of 2018. Lethukukhanya Mbambo was the winner of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Award, an honor bestowed, “to a student that epitomises leadership, caring, and generosity of spirit.”

Khensani Hlaise, the academy’s 2018 Class Representative shared that the school truly makes the difference in the lives the young women picture for themselves:

“It is such an honor and privilege to exist in a space where you can become more than you were yesterday.”

“For my sisters and I, this journey has been of becoming more of ourselves, it has been about uncovering and discovering, a journey of shedding our fears and becoming who we truly have always been. We are all here because of a dream that Mum O had.”

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The academy is a result of a promise Winfrey made to former president Nelson Mandela in 2002.  Winfrey also teaches a class at the school via satellite. The school which was built over 22 acres features state-of-the-art classrooms, computer and science laboratories, a library, theatre, and a beauty salon and was once criticized for being elitist, to which Winfrey replied:

“If you are surrounded by beautiful things and wonderful teachers who inspire you, that beauty brings out the beauty in you.”

Congratulations to the class of 2018 and we look forward to seeing generations of leaders in many classes to come.

7 Inspirational Quotes Written by Black Women

Shirley Chisholm

“You don’t make progress by standing in the sidelines, whimpering, and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”

Diana Ross

“You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.”

Oprah Winfrey

“Whatever you fear most has no power – it is your fear that has the power. The thing itself canning touch you. But if you allow your fear to deep into your mind and overtake your thoughts, it will rob of your life.” 

Aaliyah

“Keep working hard and you can get anything that you want. If God have you the talent, you should go for it. But don’t think it’s going to be easy. It’s hard!” 

Maya Angelou

“Nothing will work unless you do.” 

Beyoncé

“You have the power to change perception, to inspire, and empower, and to show people how to embrace their complications, and see the flaws, and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us.” 

Rihanna

“I always believed that when you follow your heart or your gut, when you really follow the things that feel great to you, you can never lose because settling is the worst feeling in the world.”

 

Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry & More Raise Millions To Renovate August Wilson’s Childhood Home

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Denzel Washington is honoring legendary American playwright August Wilson by raising money to renovate Wilson’s childhood Pittsburgh home. The Academy Award-winning actor was reportedly able to raise $5 million in an effort to start the process of turning the 1727 Bedford Avenue home into a museum and art studio.

The August Wilson House will be renovated to resemble how it looked during Wilson’s occupancy and will include some artifacts that belonged to him. It has also been said that the space will be used to hold classes for aspiring writers and to host plays.

“I love August Wilson,” Denzel said during the groundbreaking ceremony in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. “He touches my soul, our souls, in a way that no one else I know has. This is just like coming home.”

Celebrity donations to the August Wilson fundraising project include Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Samuel L. Jackson, Shonda Rhimes, and Spike Lee.

“It’s surreal, being able to cultivate a relationship with a significant donor just caps off this incredibly long journey,” said Paul Ellis, Wilson’s nephew.

In 2015, Washington announced that he had landed a deal with HBO to produce nine of August Wilson’s plays for the cable network. According to the Post-Gazette, the HBO project is still in the works and is slated to be released by 2020. This is also the expected completion of the August Wilson House.

“It starts with August and the wonderful people here and the commitment that we see today to this community, and I’m glad to be a part of that,” said Washington.

Oprah Signs Multi-Year Partnership With Apple & Here’s What You Should Know About It

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In case you missed it, Apple recently took to their website to announce a multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey. The tech giant and media mogul will create original content that will be released as part of a lineup from Apple. “Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” says their official website.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pact includes everything from film, TV, applications, books, and other content that could easily be distributed on Apple’s all-encompassing platform. However, the deal does not include podcasts, as Oprah has her own platform for that. Oprah will continue to serve as the chairman and CEO of the Discovery Communications-backed cable network, OWN. In December, Discovery reportedly paid Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo, Inc. $70 million to acquire an additional 24.5% stake in OWN, the companies’ joint venture.

Although Apple has shared no additional details regarding the deal, it has been said that Oprah’s Harpo Films will own any and all content produced under the Apple partnership.

Oprah Winfrey Exhibition Opens Friday At National Museum Of African American History and Culture

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Started from the bottom now she’s here! Oprah Winfrey’s rise to stardom wasn’t as easy as she makes it looks, and now we’re going to have the opportunity to see just how the daytime television host transformed into a media maven and self-made billionaire.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will open an exhibit on Oprah Winfrey on Friday, June 8.

According to the museum’s website, the exhibit will explore her childhood in the ‘50s and ‘60s, her work on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, her philanthropic work and influential book club. It will also feature artifacts from her Chicago studio and personal collection alongside video and photographs.

“We’re providing a context for understanding not only who she is, but how she became a global figure, and how she is connected to broader stories and themes,” explained Kathleen Kendrick, who worked with Winfrey’s team to get the items for the exhibition.

Winfrey is the museum’s largest benefactor, donating a $21 million. The museum’s theater is also named for her.

“Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture” opens Friday and runs through June 2019 at the museum, located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue in Washington

Watch Oprah Winfrey’s Exhibition trailer below:

 

AMC Theatre’s & Color Of Change Will Provide Free ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Tickets to Underprivileged Kids

We are all gearing up to watch Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time and Color of Change and AMC Theatres are working together to make sure that underprivileged kids get a chance to screen the movie for free. Color of Change is a nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization and according to Variety magazine, the free ticket will be offered through their “Give a Child the Universe” initiative.

The “Give a Child the Universe” initiative encouraged both individuals and groups to purchase and donate tickets to the movie. With the donation, Color of Change will give tickets away to partners, schools and other community organizations for showings and their local AMC theatre.

“Color of Change believes in the power of images and supports those working to change the rules in Hollywood so that inclusive, empathetic and human portrayals of Black people and people of color are prominent on the screen,” Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson said, according to Variety. “From Selma to now A Wrinkle In Time, Ava DuVernay has set out to change the rules in Hollywood for people of color and women.

“By casting a black teenage actress Storm Reid as the heroine at the center of this story, the filmmakers, and the studio send a powerful message to millions of young people who will see someone like them embracing their individuality and strength to save the world,” Robinson added. “We are pleased to partner with AMC to ensure that as many young people as possible, regardless of economic and financial hardships, can see this groundbreaking film.”

The A Wrinkle in Time challenge is taking over social media just like the Black Panther Challenge. People will be buying out theaters soon, and we can not wait for our little boys and girls to see themselves in a positive light on the screen once again!

 

Oprah Winfrey Donates 500K To The March For Our Lives

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Oprah Winfrey has pledged to donate 500K to March for Our Lives for gun control. Winfrey matched the donations of George and Amal Clooney and agreed to match their donation to the anti-gun violence cause,  which was organized by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.” via Oprah’s Twitter

George and Amal plan to march alongside those at the protest, after being moved by the students of Stonemason Douglas High School on March 24.

“Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School. Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating 500,000 dollars to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it.” – George Clooney

Other stars like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg, Morgan Freeman, and more are raising awareness for this initiative.

 

Sade Creates Original Song For Ava Duvernay’s ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Film

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According to Ava Duvernay‘s most recent post, it looks like we will be getting new music from soul-stress Sade. Ava took to Twitter to share the amazing news that Sade will be creating an original song for the upcoming film, ‘A Wrinkle In Time’.

Fans are in awe because Sade hasn’t released a song or an album since the beloved “Solider of Love” project back in 2010. The song will be on the “Wrinkle In Time” soundtrack and it is called “Flower of the Universe”.

The highly anticipated film is directed by Ava DuVernay and stars Oprah Winfrey and Storm Reid. It is an adaptation of  Madeleine L’Engle’s novel and it can be described as this generation’s Wizard of Oz. Who will be heading to the theaters and downloading the soundtrack?

Oprah Winfrey Reveals The Key To Being Stress Free Is Logging Off and Who Are Her Personal ‘Oprahs’

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Oprah Winfrey, a woman at the top of almost everyone’s “goals” list, shares how she manages to remain cool, calm and collected during times of high stress. Her career has spanned decades and served as an example of poise and professionalism, while remaining true to herself. Oprah drop gems everytime she speaks yet in her latest interview with InStyle magzine, she reveals the keys to remaining stress free among other aspects of living an enjoyable life.`

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@Oprah models spring’s best looks. So. Much. Fash-ON.

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The interview covers everything from the now debunked rumour of an Oprah 2020 presidential run to empowering women and manifesting goals. Oprah, explores the moments in her career that made her career and how she has worked through low moments and identifying with the impact of the #TimesUp movement at the wake of Hollywood’s internal cleanse.

“It has seared into the consciouness a level of awareness that was not there before. That’s the most important thing to me. When Reese Witherspoon can tell her story at the same time as a farm worker in Iowa or a factory worker in Alabama, it says to a person, ‘Oh well, I’ve been putting up with that asshole supervisor for all these years. Maybe it’s time for me to do something to.’ You can see that you’re not alone. We don’t have to turn our heads to pretend something isn’t happening in order to keep going.”

Oprah who is called on for many things has the expected busy workload of a Hollywood media mogul. Even she can become overwhelmed by the exhausting news cycle and ability to constantly refresh for more on social media. Logging off is the first step Oprah takes in staying on top of it all.

“I have taken a step back and a couple notches down. I don’t get up and turn on the TV first thing in the morning. I spend quiet time. I try to center myself, and I’m conscious of what I allow in because there’s so much all day long. I have the app that has all the news stories, so I scroll through the 5 Things You Need To Know Today and then choose which of those things I want to explore more.  I try not to lean into the hysteria.

Oprah continues the lighthearted yet heavy hitting interview discussing food, life and more. She even credits Ava DuVernay, citing her as inspiration. When asked “Who’s your Oprah?” she responds with DuVernay and Maya Angelou.

“Ava [Duvernay] is my new one. She’s just burning up; she’s a light! I’m inspired by her. And I feel a real connection, still, to Maya.  Sometimes I can just hear her in my presence.”

Oprah’s full interview is full of inspring and heartfelt words. Read the full interview here.

 

 

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations Taping At The Apollo Theater Featured Conversation With Yara Shahidi, Jordan Peele And More

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Oprah Winfrey was in Harlem today along with actress Salma Hayek, late night talk show host Stephen Colbert, Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, actress Yara Shahidi, host/comedian Trevor Noah and actor/comedian/director Jordan Peele.

This panel full of immense talent and knowledge will be apart of Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast and the taping happened in the heart of Harlem on 125th st. at the Apollo Theater.

The hosts of the popular 2 Dope Queens podcast, Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson kicked off the event and afterward, Oprah Winfrey took over to host a one-on-one conversation.

The one-on-one conversation happened in front of a live audience and the topic of discussion was, ”How we can live a life filled with values, character, purpose, and meaning during the turbulent times we live in.”

We can not wait to see what gems were dropped when the special airs on Tuesday, February 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The audio will also be available on “Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations” podcast.

“Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations” Podcast features conversations top thinkers, teachers, and luminaries. New episodes are uploaded every Sunday for free on Apple Podcasts.

Kim Cattrall Names Tiffany Haddish and Oprah Winfrey As Perfect Replacements Samantha In ‘Sex and the City 3’

Sex and the City went from dominating television screens to scoring big in cinema and star Sarah Jessica Parker has hinted around at a Sex and the City 3.  Parker has trivially named suggestions of actresses who would be able to fill the sexy shoes of Samantha Jones.

Parker guested on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and joked with host Ellen DeGeneres that she would be the perfect candidate for the role of Samantha. Originally played by Kim Cattrall, the character of Samantha is a powerful, gutsy woman overtly sexual tendencies.  While Parker jokingly egged on Ellen DeGegeners as the ‘new Samantha’ Kim Cattrall  co-signed the notion.

Cattrall who has vocally objected to reviving her character if Sex and the City 3 were to come to fruition does not dismiss the idea of a trilogy. Although the film lives in the rumor mill and has not yet been confirmed Cattrall shared via Twitter that besides Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Tiffany Haddish and Sofia Vergara all have her approval.

Kim Cattral says all three would make Samantha their own! As SATC fans anxiously wait for a third installation of their favorite television series turned movie, they can visualize these stars as their beloved Samantha.

Oprah Winfrey May Consider A 2020 Presidential Campaign

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During the 2017 Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to recieve the coveted Cecil B. DeMille award for her work in television, film and media. Winfrey delivered an impassioned speech which left many viewers feeling hopeful and inspired. The speech also lead many to share their ‘Oprah 2020’ wishes via social media and to their surprise, the mogul may already be two steps ahead.

According to CNN, two close friends of Winfrey confirm she is “actively thinking” about running for president. The two friends offered this information under the safety of anonymity to have the opportunity to speak freely.  Winfrey’s friends also revealed that those close to the multi-media mogul are pushing her to make the leap into politics and run for the top seat in the oval office.

One of the sources attributes the beginning of these active thoughts of running a presidential campaign to conversations over a month old however Oprah has not confirmed that she will submit.  She has worked closely with other presidential candidates, advocating and campaigning for both Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

She may be the dream candidate of many yet Winfrey’s representative has not yet responded with an official update.