If you have been following the Oscars, you will know that since the announcement of the nominees there has been a lot of talk about how race plays into the process. This especially sparked conversation when the movie Selma was snubbed.
One of my favourite arguments was made by actor David Oyelowo who commented that Hollywood applauds black actors when they play roles where they are oppressed more than roles where they are the hero. I found this to be true when I tried to list black Oscar nominations/wins in my head.
Oprah broadcast an Essence Black Women in Hollywood Special on her channel OWN. I was pleasantly surprised because I was also one of Oprah’s biggest critics with regards to tackling race issues a few years back.
Watch this video on why Oprah decided to broadcast Essence Black Women in Hollywood ceremony on OWN:
Back then a part of me felt like Oprah could have done more for black Hollywood during the days of The Oprah Winfrey Show. I understand that she never wanted to blatantly deal with race (though she spent many shows doing so) but I think that seeing Julia Roberts on her show more than Vivica A ox or Halle Berry for example, somehow put Julia ahead of the latter actresses.
Oprah broadcasting this event that honours black women in Hollywood thoroughly impressed me because it is an even bolder move than just interviewing a black actress. This is an opportunity for people to see black women celebrate each other in an industry where they are at the bottom of the food chain.
Way to go Mam’ Oprah!
Watch the video below of how Essence influenced Oprah as a young girl:
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