People: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey, a name so many of us have heard of before. When I hear the name, I think of a woman who inspired so many with her story. Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey in 1954. At six years old, Winfrey was sent North to join her mother and two half-brothers in a Milwaukee ghetto. When Oprah was nine she was raped by her nineteen-year-old cousin who was baby-sitting her. This would not be the only time she was sexually abused, she would then be sexually abused by her cousin, a family friend, her mother’s boyfriend, and her uncle during her stay in Milwaukee. Throughout these incidents, she did not tell anyone about what happened as her predators made her keep quiet. When she was older, Oprah Winfrey moved to Chicago, in January 1984 with little money in her pockets, she took over as an anchor on A.M. Chicago. A.M. Chicago was a morning talk show that was consistently lowest in the ratings.

I think the traumatic incidents that she experienced earlier in her life pushed her to fight for women’s rights and got the victims to speak up about their experiences. In one of her latest acceptance speech during the Golden Globes Awards, she says “I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault, because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue”. She was speaking about the trending #metoo movement that encouraged women to speak up about their sexual abuse predators.

Oprah Winfrey inspires me because she started with nothing and is now one of the most successful and influential people in the world. She came from a family with a poor background and suffered through years of abuse and neglect. Most people would have just given up, but Oprah Winfrey persevered and aimed high. She worked so hard and now she has her own talk show that remains the highest-rated talk show in American television history. She has even won many awards, like Emmys and The Best Talk Show award. She has taught me that it does not matter where I come from, as long as I work hard and be resilient, I can be successful.


Ashley Tung

3 Truth




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