In a clip posted to her social media, Oprah Winfrey is seen cheering on an all-girl band from her school OWLAG in South Africa. Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls celebrated the success of the 9th graduation class of Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. In a beautiful and soothing musical piece, the girls of OWLAG played for the founder herself—Ms. Winfrey. Always uplifting and teaching girls that they can do anything they work hard for, Oprah posted this video to her Instagram dancing and celebrating the 9th graduating class.
OWLAG was born from a pledge by Ms. Winfrey to former president Nelson Mandela in 2002 to provide a world-class educational platform for girls that will nurture a new generation of dynamic leaders. Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s emphasis on education, the Academy has welcomed talented, underprivileged girls to a new lifestyle; a world filled with knowledge, social skills and possibilities, and is proud to maintain a 100% matric pass rate.
Ms. Winfrey’s vision is that the Leadership Academy will help develop the future leaders of South Africa. A College Fund was established to support and encourage these young leaders, and those that follow, on their continuing journey.
We salute the graduates of OWLAG and wish them success on all their future endeavors.
Here’s a throwback the founder’s very first speech to the first graduating class of OWLAG.
Oprah Winfrey’s OWN airs scripted shows that speak to the multiplicity of experiences in the Black community. From David Makes Man to Queen Sugar to any of the Tyler Perry shows, you can find several economic standings, social backgrounds, and educational levels. The religious soap opera, Greenleaf is no exception. The show is jammed pack with stories that provide peaks behind a mega-churches’ holy veils, critiques the organized institution, humanizes the clergy and their families, while weaving elements of the gospel into it.
The show follows the Greenleaf family, where we have at least three (possibly four) pastors, all trying to figure out their roles in the complicated faith-based community. Infidelity and fraud, emotional trauma and deceit floods the story and this week, even more adds to this sinister pot.
Yet praise God for Grace. No… really….
Pastor Grace Greenleaf (Merle Dandridge) continues to emerge as the beacon of righteousness, trying to clean up all this church mess. Popular and pretty, many are attracted to her as she emerges as the new lead pastor of Calvary. However, Bob Whitmore (Beau Bridges) returns to Memphis to remind her that he is the one in charge of the congregation, pushing his new ideas on her for the flock that her father lead up until last season.
True it is a charming show, with a brilliantly talented cast and production team (executively produced by Michael B. Jordan and Tarell Alvin McCraney). It has the stamp of Queen Mother Oprah Winfrey and has enjoyed critical acclaim… but on a visceral level it is a dangerous series because it is just such a heart-wrenchingly honest show. Episode after episode, it is saturated with truth… someone’s truth.
And that’s why it is possibly one of the most important shows on television this season. This work of art dismantles the narrative of Post-Racial America and puts the dirty laundry of so many of urban America’s story out there for all to see. To put it in a quick soundbite, this series is Hip-Hop.
Now there goes critic one: “There is not music, where are the rappers? How can it be Hip-Hop without rappers?”
The music is in the dialogue. When Chuck D said that “rap music is the CNN of the street,” does David’s character (complete with his Id and Ego) not tell you one of the real stories of growing up poor, Black and male in America? Is the music not in how he navigates being a kid with being damaged by an environment that he has not control over? Shame on anyone that does not see Nas, T.I., XXXTenacion or T-Top in this character.
Then goes critic number two: “How can it be Hip-Hop and there is no floss or fly women, where is the lit lit?”
What is lit is the level of cultural code switching that is evident through the season. It also speaks to the exceptionality of young Black children. They are “despite” brilliant. Despite hardship, abuse (physical, religious, social, economic and sexual) they find ways to make sunshine out of utter darkness, lemonade out of lemons and family tree assignments out of Mary J. Blige’s odes to children born with no fathers.
And alas critic number three: “How is it Hip-Hop when there is no get money scheme?”
And that is part of the issue. Dave Makes Man reminds us to elevate our definition of Hip-Hop from only being a commodity to acknowledging that it is an expression of Humanity. An expression one might add that is vulnerable.
Just check out the next episode on due to drop on Wednesday, Sept. 11th.
Oprah Winfrey made a generous donation towards the Puerto Rico hurricane relief efforts.
The island has yet to fully recover from Hurricane Maria which resulted in thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damages in 2017. As a result, the legendary media maven is donated a total of $2 million dollars. $1 million to Hispanic Federation and another $1 million to the Flamboyan Arts Fund, as per The Oprah Magazine.
“I was so moved by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s commitment to bring ‘Hamilton’ to Puerto Rico and support the community that served him growing up that I wanted to join in the revitalization efforts of an island so rich in culture, beauty, and heritage,” the star said in a statement. “The needs of Puerto Rico and our fellow American citizens following the tragic hurricanes are still very real, and the work that has already been done by the Hispanic Federation, Flamboyan Arts Fund and other organizations on and off the island is long from over.”
At the top of the year, Oprah Winfrey and her bestie, Gayle King traveled to the island to watch the Hamilton play.
Recovery and fundraising efforts has been ongoing since the disaster. Daddy Yankee, Pitbull and Tidal, among others, have lent a helping hand by raising funds or donating out of their own pockets. Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez launched their own fund called, the Puerto Rico Federally Qualified Health Centers Disaster Recovery Fund.
Michelle Obama graces the cover Elle Magazine for the December issue. The former First Lady was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and talks about her marriage, Trump and much more.
With her glowing smile of the cover, the interview she had with Oprah Winfrey has become a must-read for those who are interested with Mrs. Obama’s book. With a new book detailing her journey in Becoming, which is out today, Winfrey gets a head start on discussing what will be inside.
Her spouse, Barack Obama tells Oprah about their marriage about being in love is different no matter what the struggle is and much more. It was an important part of her journey that she is becoming by writing and sharing her story of this book. Make sure you get the memoir that will be out everywhere today.
Oprah also gave a rousing speech in support of Abrams this afternoon.
Oprah: "I'm here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated … for the right, for the equality at the polls. And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/mWMwTjIeok
When Michelle Obama announced her tour that would support her memoir Becoming, it was already a hot ticket. With many seats already purchased, the tour gets even bigger with scheduled appearances from Oprah Winfrey, Tracee Ellis Ross, Reese Witherspoon and more.
The Becoming Tour is billed as “An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama” and the former First Lady of the United States reveals on her Instagram that the conversations will be “with some of my dearest friends, women who have had my back since before anyone knew my name, and trailblazers who make me laugh and inspire me every day.”
The tour will kick off in Mrs. Obama’s hometown of Chicago at the United Center and will hit Los Angeles, DC, Philly, Dallas and more. If you haven’t grabbed a ticket yet, get on that ASAP. Check out everyone who will join the tour with Mrs. Obama below.
Per her usual, boss lady Oprah Winfrey has been working without ceasing lately especially after signed a multiyear production deal with Apple this summer. We were pleasantly surprised to see her let her hair down for some much-deserved R&R during Beyonce and Jay-Z’s OTR II tour stop in Los Angeles earlier this week.
The turn-up got real right before the beat dropped on Jay-Z’s classic PSA record and BFF’s Gayle King and Auntie O threw up their version of the rock diamond sign along with the rest of the electric crowd in the stadium that night. Perhaps Oprah’s staking her claim in the top twenty of TheHollywood Reporter’s Most Powerful People in Entertainment in 2018, triggered the celebratory behavior.
Without a doubt, the billionaire has got the moves in and out of the boardroom and we will be here for all of it. In case you missed it here’s the clip of Gayle shouting for Oprah to put her ‘diamonds up’ during what she noted on Instagram as the “Her [Oprah’s] first time seeing Mr. & Mrs. Carter on stage together.”