It is tragic that a small business woman, who has done as much good as Oprah Winfrey, would find herself constantly haunted by family members who share her personal family life with the press constantly and who say things to paint her as an evil person by people who do not know her or had never had any personal contact with her.
Many critics fail to acknowledge that Oprah Winfrey was a struggling on air personality in Baltimore, Maryland, only two years before she found fame and fortune with the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her fortune was made by working 18 hours a day in her woman owned minority small business: Harpo Productions, Inc.
For those who were able to visit the offices of Harpo Productions before Winfrey ended her 25 year reign as the number one daytime talk show host in America it was a marvel of business success. Oprah Winfrey worked very hard to achieve her wealth. The strain of producing and hosting a talk show is one of the most grueling jobs in broadcasting. Winfrey made many sacrifices to make her talk show a success.
The real cause of the scorn being directed at Winfrey is the result of the bitterness over the failed marriage of Vernon and Barbara Winfrey. The media reporting of her evicting Barbara Winfrey from the million dollar Nashville home, that she purchased for her father and step-mother, fails to highlight that Winfrey offered another house to her step-mother. The headline that Oprah Winfrey evicted her step-mother from her home is far more eye catching.
The myth regarding the relationship between the step-mother and the children of a natural father date back to Cinderella. The natural children of a father who marries another women after death or divorce are often portrayed as hating their stepmother. It is not always the case. There are cases where natural fathers have forbidden their children to even refer to a step-mother as such. The present writer remembers that his father asked his youngest son to refer to the wife he married on September 12, 1972, as his mother since his natural mother died when he was a small child and he never knew her. This fostered a great mother and son relationship.
Oprah Winfrey started a school in Africa to help African girls, she has given to numerous charities, she had supported the work of professors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and encouraged the present writer as he sought to assist an HBCU to attain its full accreditation in the history of the university. Winfrey was an inspiration when the writer was working on the history of the university and took the time from her busy schedule on February 24, 1989, shortly after the writer visited Harpo Productions, “Thank you for sending me the book “African Methodism in South Carolina”. I truly appreciate you thinking of me. Also, please thank everyone at Allen University for “The Yellow Jacket.” Wishing you the best, Oprah,” she wrote.
To destroy a woman’s reputation is the worst thing that a family member can do. It better to never speak of the family member rather than to destroy their reputation. Oprah Winfrey is a great American Small Business Entrepreneur. Her school in Africa, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, graduated its first class in 2012. It is estimated that Winfrey has given over 400 million dollars to charity.
Madame C.J. Walker, the first African-American millionaire was also attacked for her success; nevertheless, like Oprah Winfrey, she did not let the attacks stop her from serving her nation.
For more information on the school go to: www.owla.co.za.