Name: Oprah Winfrey
Basics: She’s our media mogul and, like so many that’ll be highlighted this month, she rose up from humble beginnings. She was born in rural Mississippi where she unfortunately suffered a rough childhood that involved sexual abuse from a number of male relatives. Her first major nationwide success started with a morning show in Chicago that gained her enough recognition to land a role in The Color Purple. A movie that she received an Academy Award nomination for. The Oprah Winfrey Show launched in 1986 and made $125 million in its first year. Now she is a billionaire and was one of the few black females to fall into that category for many years. Her success as a media entrepreneur is pretty clear.
Why I Chose Her: Just like our community has a hard time with those who hold conservative views, we sometimes have a bad habit of attacking the most successful members of our community. I admire her success and wish she was a more valued member of our community. Oprah is an incredible tale of a journey past adversity. She should be a model for our young women. She should be who parents point to as someone to emulate. She’s the kind of woman more rappers should talk about. I’ve seen her vilified over a few things and I just don’t think it’s fair. We’ve got to do a better job of appreciating those who are successes in our community.