One Ebony Voice

The thoughts and views of an African-American...

Oprah is a Beautiful and Positive Image of a Black Woman!

On this, the eve of the airing of the last syndicated Oprah Winfrey Show, I say a heart-felt thank-you to Oprah for providing a beautiful and positive image of a black woman during the 25 year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show. By now, most people do not usually think of Oprah in terms of race. That includes me. But recent events on television have reminded me how significant Oprah has been regarding images of black women on television.

For 25 years, Oprah has entertained, informed and inspired television viewers through The Oprah Winfrey Show. As a result of her television show success, Oprah has been a blessing to many through her philanthropy. Through her example, she has challenged all who have watched her to do what they can with what they have to make a positive difference in the lives of others and Live Your Best Life.

Although Oprah’s presence on television has been a blessing to many, it has also presented a challenge to others. The television industry is ratings driven. Talk shows compete against each other for guests to interview. Oprah has been the #1 talk show on television. Her presence on daytime television has posed a challenge to others in the industry. During the 25th and final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, several daytime talk shows have exploited the vicious feuds among some of the black female participants on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. These feuds which show black women in a negative light are in stark contrast to the positive image Oprah has shown the world for the past 25 years.

It is hard not to wonder whether or not the exploitation of the feuds on Celebrity Apprentice are a part of a concerted effort to deliberately tarnish the image of black women. The entertainment industry has been known to be a copy cat industry. Meaning one television show’s success can spawn similar shows. An example is American Idol, which has been followed by So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Got Talent and The Voice, not to mention the shows that tried and failed to succeed. However in the case of The Oprah Winfrey Show, maybe the conventional wisdom is not to have another successful talk show by a black woman and thereby remove the threat of a significant competitor similar to Oprah. Is this the case? Who knows?

What I do know is that witnessing the feuds among black women on Celebrity Apprentice has made me much more appreciative of Oprah’s positive presence on television for 25 years. I do hope that as she moves to a more behind the scenes role on her OWN network, her absence in front of the television camera will not give rise to negative images of black women as promoted by others in the television industry.

Oprah, thank-you for your positive image. Much continued success on OWN.

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