OprahWinfreyWhen Oprah Winfrey recently announced plans to end her ground breaking talk show in 2011, one overwhelming response resounded from the scores of individuals within the Black community: “Good Riddance!”

Where is the love? What has O done to deserve this much venom? For the media pioneer and super-philanthropist, it seems like enough will never be enough.

Like it or not, Oprah Winfrey is the most powerful woman within the media industry, which basically makes her the most powerful woman alive. This is an indisputable fact as well as a tough pill to swallow for anyone who’s got issues with women – and Black folks. In a culture with a history of vilifying the victimized, you can bet that there’s a special brand of animosity reserved for those who dare to succeed.

Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three,  and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond  our farm in Mississippi.

–Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey’s story is unparalleled. Who would’ve thought that a Black girl born into acutely unfortunate circumstances (bestowed with a misspelled Biblical name, no less) would morph into a billionaire media mogul, philanthropist and straight up icon? It’s the voyage from her humble beginnings that makes her heroine to some and an archenemy to others. Perhaps hers is a situation that illustrates the plight of the ‘double minority’ who faces opposition from nearly any & every direction.

Why do African Americans hate Oprah?

It’s a well-known fact that human beings tend to dislike that which they choose not to understand.  Enter Ms. Winfrey: An exceptional, ambitious, unapologetic woman so resilient, she managed to derive fuel from stark adversity to propel her on this remarkable journey. This is a consummate visionary who has employed her God-given gifts to rise above it all; demonstrating the indestructible nature of the human spirit.

Now, some of us may remember Oprah Winfrey as a Jheri-Curl rockin’ anchorwoman in Baltimore, or the sister who ran ole Phil Donohue out of Chi-Town. It’s undeniable, however, that once Oprah stepped out of “their” lane and created her own, she not only became a living legend, but the brunt of severe criticism, especially from fellow African Americans.

“Crustaceans in a Cylindrical Container”…

From day one, Oprah Winfrey was under attack. Her weight, in particular seemed to be the joke-du-jour for opportunistic Black comedians. The Wayans,  for one, couldn’t resist raking her over the coals in their hit sitcom, In Living Color. Who could forget Kim Wayans’ portrayal of a fiending, food addicted Oprah, who ate so much during one episode that she began to float upwards, subsequently exploding into a million little potato chips that rained on her unsuspecting audience? Harsh, no doubt, but that was just an arbitrary turd dropping before the sh*tstorm – so to speak.

Since her eponymous debut, Oprah Winfrey has revolutionized daytime TV while educating, empowering, and inspiring millions of people across the planet. Oddly enough, it seems as though Winfrey has been meet with increasing condemnation by her racial counterparts over time. You may be familiar with some of the following wrathful rationale – replete with Clutch commentary, of course:

  • “Oprah hates Black Men.” There are some folks who say that Winfrey doesn’t give positive Black men enough shine. Have these people even seen her show before?
  • “Oprah caters too much to Middle America, a.k.a., Midwestern White women.” Regrettably, virtually every arm of entertainment does this much more flagrantly than she ever has.
  • “Winfrey insists on appearing on every cover of O Magazine.” Well…If she didn’t do that then folks would be creating a freakin’ score sheet denoting the various racial/cultural imbalances of O’s chosen cover person from month to month (can a sista get a break, please?)
  • “She’s amassed untold wealth in part by empowering women. Men, not so much.” – Women comprise the most historically marginalized group, bar none. It’s very possible that many chauvinistic fellas face extreme difficulty with this one on a number of levels.
  • “Oprah just doesn’t do enough for African Americans.” Oh yeah? By some standards, her existence should suffice. Damn a dollar. Oprah Winfrey is a symbol of hope to millions because of her indomitable spirit, not her ‘so-called’ politics. Remember the Chinese Proverb:  “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” In other words, charity is a tool one must learn how to use. It’s time to put an end to inappropriate notions of entitlement.
  • “Oprah & company started a girl’s school in South Africa, not the USA.” That’s a good one, but imagine if she started one in South Central instead of Chicago, or Philly, or Oakland, and…. You catch the drift. Besides, most of the young South African girls she seeks to serve have the quality of life similar to that of our great-grand mothers – and live in a culture still reeling from a criminally insane version of apartheid (much like the one our great grandma’s endured too).
  • One Black Commentator contributor suggested that Oprah uses her powers to facilitate “White Self-Congratulation,” while widely ignoring the Black experience. This is an interesting perspective, however, our culture is a product of cultural rape and severe brainwashing. Some things can’t be cut & dry. This country is tyrannical at its core; progress sometimes must wear a disguise.

The list goes on and on, quite literally to the break of dawn… Constructive criticism is one thing; casting dispersions, another.

The Black Hole of Judgment

The inherent human need to judge is proof that no one is perfect. Yes, Oprah Winfrey may not be at the top of every Black person’s list, but it often seems that she is judged too harshly for her “crimes” while not receiving enough credit for her blatant acts of kindness and generosity. In an attempt to get the ‘bigger picture’, let us not look at opinions, but facts to in support of this:

  • Oprah’s Angel Network, which has donated millions to improve the quality of life for the underprivileged. Since it’s inception in 1998, it has raised over $51 million for benevolent endeavors.
  • Oprah Winfrey assisted 250 African-American men in continuing or completing their education at historic Morehouse College.
  • In addition to investing 40 million and some of her time establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, Oprah has made great efforts to improve the lives of AIDS-affected children within the entire continent of Africa.
  • As a philanthropist Winfrey has donated an estimated $303,000,000 of her own money to benefit the lives of others.
  • In February 2003, Winfrey received hateful criticism for airing an episode titled, Is War the Only Answer? which featured rare anti war footage. Ironically, the program that featured people from around the world asking American not to go to war, was interrupted in several east coast markets by network broadcasts of a press conference in which President GW Bush and Colin Powell summarized the case for war.

This is just a portion of some of Winfrey’s good deeds, and as writer Gabrielle Beckles elaborates:

Oprah Winfrey is the most successful woman of all time. She owns and presents the highest ranked talk show of all time, she inspired an entire anti-intellectual nation to read, she is the only black billionaire and she is the most philanthropic African American of all time. She has put the nation’s social problems on the map and has revolutionized self-help.

So why the hate folks? Despite Oprah Winfrey’s overwhelming positive world wide positive contributions, will enough ever be enough?

With great power comes great criticism when you’re a Black woman running thangs. One of the greatest contradictions worth noting is the tendency to denigrate folks such as Oprah and Bill Cosby while effectively ignoring the no-deeds and counterproductive actions of other high profile African Americans. Countless annals can be produced on the mindless, deleterious and self-serving impact of specific influential Blacks Americans. Where’s the stream of criticism for those who knowingly contribute to the demise of not only our culture, but the overall mindset of Earth’s inhabitants?

This is not a call for all African Americans to stand up and profess their love for Oprah Winfrey, instead an appeal for an open mind and equal analysis of all influential African Americans. You may not care for her, but if you care for yourself, and community, seeking inspiration in what she does “right” rather than getting lost in that which she does not may very well help you live your own best life.

“I have a lot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly.”  –Oprah Winfrey

  • http://ymib.com ericka

    This is a great article..I get so very tired of us hating on each other(every little thing..never satisfied attitude) so much that we end up not recognizing or knowing who we are. And on top of that being so critical that we miss the opportunity to celebrate major achievements. One thing that I always HATED hearing was that Oprah caters to white womens interests (ahem i found most of her shows to be of interest to me)..i wonder what people wanted her to focus on more that would have catered to “black womens interests”…but that’s a whole “nother” story I suppose..lol.

  • http://thehappygoluckybachelor.blogspot.com Clnmike

    People are cool on Oprah because there is something disingenuous about her through out her career.

    1- For instance who announces a retirment scheduled for 2011 in 2009?

    2- And who actually believes she is retiring when she now owns her own network? Retiring my ass she is just moving shop to her cable channel.

    3- Oprah doesnt have a problem with black men who conform to her ideals of white people as in “safe”.

    4- But she most defintely has problems with black men who are considered threatening to those middle American white women personified in rappers.

    5- If these “wild” black men some how become tamed and or have gained sympathy of her audience she has no problem putting them on, like Jay-Z or Mike Tyson.

    6- She has her lips glued to white women’s butt’s. I remember the interview she did with the central park jogger who was raped that caused a bunch of innocent teenage black boys to be arrested only to be later released years later after DNA proved they didnt do it and some one else was caught for the crime. She interviews this women and acts like there was some mistake that they were releases as if they should be spending time for a crime they didnt commit just for this woman to feel good about herself.

    I wont dismiss the good that she does but she is not some one I would trust.

  • a/n

    There were valid points made from this article. I also will not dismiss the good deeds Oprah has contributed. However, i would not technically say that many African American people (including myself) are not “hate’n” on Oprah. I respect Oprah as any other individual but it gets redundant when you have to hear about Oprah 24/7. In addition, the redundancy turns into annoyance when you have women ( especially in the audience) fall over their floor when they see Oprah. I usually call these women Oprah worshipers.

    I also want to point out that I do agree with the black commenter that “White Self-Congratulation,” while widely ignoring the Black experience. I’ve watched Oprah’s shows for years… I even grew up watching the show when i was young in age. My aunt was a huge fan of Oprah and still is. The audience on the show is mainly the white audience and a small percentage of black people. Although Oprah caters to this audience, i believe she could bring up more topics that relate more to black people culture (or other ethnicities (hispanic, native american german, etc). Moreover, I understand that even though Oprah has a high percentage of white americans in her audience..this is the way this has been for a long time.

  • MJC

    CI Mike, or whatever your moniker is, you are the textbook black male hater. Your comment proves it. Should Oprah have a series where nothing but costume wearing Five Percenters appear on her show? Maybe 50 Cent and other fake thug rappers should appear and talk about their uplifting mentality for the world to share.

    Any old people reading this let me ask, were Black folks so mean to Nat King Cole for catering to a white audience in his landmark show? My sense is that they were proud of him for getting out there and representing. I also think that the only black male talk show host that was popular, Montell Williams, was a REAL example of a self hating black person who didn’t think or do much of anything for black women. He seemed to prefer the trailer inhabitant ladies….

    I think there should be another article like: Why black men should keep it shut when it comes to Oprah Winfrey. Your conditioning doesn’t allow you to have a clear head or heart when dealing with the subject.

  • http://twitter.com/LoudPen LoudPen

    Funny that this article is all about why Black people should learn to love or at least respect Oprah and yet, every comment was from some Oprah hater….

    As a reformed fan of the magnificence that is Oprah, I will explain why I was once an Oprah hater. First, I just didn’t find her issues to be relevant to my life. And then I watched her show, like really, watched it with an open mind.

    And I found that even though every issue doesn’t mirror my life to a T that doesn’t mean I can’t learn something from it. And that’s the problem with a lot of black people. We resent whites & the Midwestern suburban life so much that we tend to find everything related to it to be irrelevant. However this is completely untrue. You can grow & learn from anything & everything you are presented with in life. And if more black folk, would simply open their minds, they would see that.

    My next reason for being a former Oprah hater was b/c I love Hip-hop and we all know that Oprah was anti-rap. Now that she has featured hip-hop on her show through the summit, and Jay-Z I feel that she’s finally trying to understand the music & reasoning behind it. I don’t think she gets it yet but she’s on her way. Lastly, I just want to say that what Black people really can’t stand is that someone made it out. Like really made it out & they can’t. However, if they would wake up they would realize that if they wanna get somewhere the only person stopping them is themselves. If you still hate Oprah, well…then go do it yourself. The Pen Has Spoken.

  • b

    Oprah is on the top of my fav people list. I love her. The way that she does what she believes is right, despite what the whole world may think (since that’s who is watching her). She can basically do no wrong in my book. She is an example of what I aspire to be. Self made-Self Owned.
    @clnmike -Check your facts. She never said she was retiring for good, never to be seen again. She will continue to work, yes, on her Cable Network. Why are you hating? She can do whatever the heck she wants to.
    I’m sad to see her go, but it’s been 25 years, and she’s 55 years old. It’s a good time to make a change.
    I could go on forever because I can’t see much (if any) wrong in Oprah Winfrey. I just hope I make it to a showing before 2011.
    oh, and the thing that gets me is that most people “hating” don’t even know much about her or the work she does/has done. you haven’t taken time to watch a show, let alone get your facts straight. you’re just going off of the foolishness you hear… -do better.
    PS -Oprah doesn’t owe anyone anything.

  • http://ymib.com ericka

    my comment was the total opposite of hating on oprah….and i think you summed it up perfectly…sometimes we can get so petty about why another nubian person is not meeting us at satisfactory. good comment indeed!

  • French n’ Fries

    TO ALL THOSE FOOLS WHO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH OPRAH: Kiss her and my beautiful black nubian queen asses.

    *Exits door*.

  • http://socialangst.blogspot.com MsBRG722

    Oprah is inspiration at it’s finest. Her personal story alone – conquering abuse and poverty to become who she is today – is worthy of admiration. Couple that with her philanthropic endeavors and you are have reason to make her role model worthy. She isn’t perfect – nor do I think she claims to be. If you can’t see her has an impressive human, flaws and all, it probably has more to do with your inadequacies than hers.

    I’m not an Oprah fanatic, but I do appreciate her journey and her success.

  • maria

    I adore Oprah and I’m heart broken that her show will end one day

  • http://www.justlikemusic.vox.com Tina

    Black people hate Oprah?

  • http://thehappygoluckybachelor.blogspot.com Clnmike


    Grow up or get a life either way I am not obligated to blindly worship Oprah and ignore her faults as the mindless do. You have shown to be the textbook bitter woman who over reacts to any constructive critic as an attack on black women with out any self examination. What ever your beef is with black men please do not project that on me. You dont like the opinion or can not give an intelligent resonse do not respond at all. I dont like arguing with the clueless, people might think I am as off as you.


    Did you read the article? It said she was ending her show.

    Who the hell is hating? I pointed out why I am not a big fan. More peace and power to her. You on the other hand……

    For the rest, there is a difference between admiring some one for their acheivements and blindly ignoring their faults if you can not tell the difference than that says something about you.

  • MJC

    LMAO!!! Yo, I’ll take your word for it. You are clearly knowledgeable on the subject of hostility. Exhale brotha. Your masculinity has been restored.

  • http://thehappygoluckybachelor.blogspot.com Clnmike

    Reread your post and than tell me who is hostile, as for my masculinity that wasnt what was in question your objectivity was.

  • Soul Cry

    Although I respect what Oprah has done for her career (and for others that follow her lead), I’ve never been a fan of the show.

    …I actually agree with Clnmike.

  • Olivia

    As a black business woman I have learned the hard way to shroud my identity behind a sea of white-faced fronts in order to get my own race to pay any attention to my work, respect it and support it. Its unfortunate but its true, black folk can be extremely critical of one another and will support everyone else before they are willing to get behind anything black owned or black run. Experience taught me this difficult to swallow lesson the hard way. Its a little disillusioning to imagine that even for those whose success has reached the epitome of undeniable heights, as in Oprah’s case, the lack of support and negativity only gets worse. God help the crusteacians in cylindrical containers. (Loved the analogy by the way!)

  • b

    @clnmike -whoa! calm down, bro. Seriously?! there are so many ways in which i could rebuttal, but for what? i’m over it. oh, but FYI, YOU were hating because you chose to “blindly ignore” (your words) her achievements to point out her faults.

  • http://thehappygoluckybachelor.blogspot.com Clnmike

    I didnt ignore anything, I pointed out that she doesnt walk on water.


    Lol, yup that was my 1st thought. I knew about the rappers not being allowed on her show. but that is just class. u can’t go to a fancy resturant wearing a du rag and some tims, its not classy. anyway, no matter what you do in life people will hate you. u can not. NO ONE is perfect. NO ONE. so people need to get over it. Stop hating

  • Monique

    While Oprah’s show may not resonate with everyone–her commitment towards helping others is impressive. Yes, she has a lot of wealth but damn why do people get on her back so much.

    Good luck to her, it should be interesting to see what the next phase will be.

  • Lisa

    I’ve been a long time reader of Clutch and I’ve found a pattern in your responses to the women here that are quite telling. You manage to assume that every woman that doesn’t agree with your latest outlandish statement is a “bitter black woman”. It’s very telling about your viewpoint on women (especially black women) and makes any comment you make regarding a black woman a moot point. Don’t bother to retaliate with an “I love black women” rant. Love includes respect and dismissing a female viewpoint with a sad, tired label is less than respect.

  • http://thehappygoluckybachelor.blogspot.com Clnmike


    You either have me mistaken with some one else or you are lying, either way I suggest you get your facts straight. I dont have a problem with opposing view points, I have a problem with people who choose to repond in hostile fashion cause they do not like an different opinion. And dont worry about the “I Love Black Women” tactic I dont use it or throw that word around and if you have really been reading my posts you would know that too.

    You and I both know you dont so run that game on some one else.

  • AGould

    First off, I don’t understand why Black folks call you a “hater” if you don’t like someone who is rich and successful. One can wish a person all the success in the world and still not really care for him/her as a performer or entertainer. Over the years, I too couldn’t relate to Oprah’s show, but not for the reasons listed above. I didn’t relate because many of the issues that are important to Oprah just aren’t important to me. I’m not over-weight. I’m not struggling with my marriage or children. These things are, indeed, quite important — just not to me. But, this issue of celebrity worship is really bigger than Oprah. I disagree with most people’s tastes in entertainment as a whole. I’m a very introspective thinker, philosopher, and a life-long learner. I would personally rather watch Ellen or some other light-hearted entertainment inasmuch as I don’t need Oprah to guide me thru the viccissitudes of life. It’s a bit scary how fearful we are of being critical of our celebrities. Not tuning into the Oprah show doesn’t make you “less Black” or less supportive of a sista’ doing her thing. Oprah has definitely changed the face of TV and will leave a void in her absence. But we can’t sit around mourning her like she’s a fallen civil rights shero.

  • TheSG

    @ ClnMike,

    My man! I agree with you & @AGould. Anytime you don’t bend over and kiss an AfAm celebrity square on their Black butts, somebody accuses you of hating. I am among the many folks confused about how Oprah can blast the misogynistic messages in hip-hop and then turn around a do a whole show riding JayZ’s jock. Oprah, like many other celebs, sat silent while me, my wife, and thousands of other volunteers supported Barack Obama thru his U.S. Sentate campaign. Then, d@mn near a year after he announced his candidacy for President, here comes Oprah talking about she “…found the One!” I don’t have a hater bone in my body. I just don’t care for Oprah. It’s just that simple.

    @MJC – if you honestly believe what you said about Black men needing to “…keep it shut when it comes to Oprah”, then you have truly crossed over into a celebrity worshipping, Oprah-groupie. Anybody who disagrees with you doesn’t have a clear head or heart?!? Seriously?!? Do you honestly believe that you’re views are infallable like that?!?

  • TheSG

    oh, by the way…Crabs don’t really do that when placed in a bucket. That was proven to be a myth on MythBusters as well as several shows on Animal Planet and Natural Geographics. That’s a widely used but quite inaccurate metaphor.

  • MJC

    Looks like we’ve got another scholar in our midst. Thanks for sharing your view, it’s superior beings like you who really help to keep me in my place. Bravo;)

  • Yolanda

    I just died laughing at your comment! Clutch is full of scholars..lol. The readership is like the Ivy league or something. Which is great to have so many smart and opinionated people but they can be extra sometimes.

  • A T

    Oprah is not at all that skinny. VIva la Photoshop. I am glad she is taken off the air soon.

  • http://mosamuse.blogspot.com MosaMuse

    I love her.

  • Soul Cry


    Also well said. Probably a better description why I’m not fan (though I still agree with Clnmike) . I don’t dislike her…she just doesn’t do it for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gyles-Morrison/277701211 Gyles Morrison

    Wow, this has been an interesting read. Stumbled across the article when a friend posted it on Facebook.

    I’m a young British male, so I see Oprah a bit different because I don’t live in the states.

    From my point of view, I feel Oprah is a successful black woman. I don’t think she has done anything immoral or against your principles in order to become the most successful black woman of all time ( I don’t think anyone can really disagree with that fact). She did it with hard work, determination, self belief and support from loving friends and family.

    I think this article is only touching upon a much bigger issue, which the comments have been focusing on more. This is the issue of black people being a successful race.

    We as a race, irrelevant of our location in the world don’t support each other enough. Pretty much all the other races are not just in a position to help themselves out, but they actively do it too.

    There are hundreds of white and asian (we call indians asian in england) Dr’s in London. There are also many black Dr’s, but so few are actually black british. The reason why this is an issue is because I have never been encouraged to be a Dr (I’m a 4th year medical student) by a successful black british male Dr before I started med school. The situation was worse 20 years ago when being black meant you shouldn’t even apply.

    Young black people NEED role models. But we only see someone as a role model if we respect someone because of their achievements and then want to be like that person. Black people just seem to hate each other if you think objectively about it. Why can’t we be well known for being Dr’s, lawyers, Judges, Managing Directors, Arch Bishops, etc. And yes, we can give examples, but I said well known, and I used plurals for all those titles. We shouldn’t just have a few examples, or examples that are dead. We need to be norm. Thats what equality is about, not us being equal, us being normal.

    This deals with another issue, political correctness. We can’t be use stereotypes, but then we can’t be stereotypes. Yet when we are completely different to the stereotype, do we therefore become completely different to the reality the stereotype is based off? Yeah, that was confusing, and for a reason, it’s because the whole topic is stupid. It shouldn’t even be an issue.

    Humans are different in so many ways, but we are still all human. We need to embrace the differences, encourage, learn and replicate the good, reject, destroy but remember the bad so it will never be in the future.

    Oprah believed and has achieved, countless others have done it before her, countless others have done it after her. And as a young black male from a single parent family, working class is a poor area of east london who is now a 4th year medic and chairman of his own company (www.say-it-loud.org.uk), I’ve done it too.

    I just hope all of you and the people you influence do it too.

  • Ms O

    Say what you want about Oprah but for her to have this much influence in the media for so many years and she is obviously doing something right. We are so obsessed and sickened by this Black and White thing we don’t even see the bigger picture.

    She has helped countless people in so many ways. Black, white brown yellow. Isn’t that what matters? Unfortunately, when you are on that level of success some people only want to focus on the negative instead of positive things you have done, so they can bring you down their level.

    I celebrate Oprah because she is doing what no other person, Black, white, male or female has ever done in the media. Period.

  • Ms O

    Just to show you how petty we can be: My mom doesn’t care to much for Oprah because she never had kids. Why should that matter?

  • Gia

    Excellent points – Giles & Ms. O. It’s about focusing on what’s positive. That’s what people seem to misunderstand. Dwelling on the meaningful stuff in life always has a better outcome than zeroing in on the negative.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gyles-Morrison/277701211 Gyles Morrison

    So damn true

    It’s like when successful black women talk to successful black men about why they can never find a decent partner instead of just dating the damn person they are talking to!

    Focus on the negative and you miss out.

  • Jason

    Every criticism of O-majesty is valid, deal with it.

  • Tasha

    I used to adore Oprah. She was my hero. I put her at the top of my role model list (after Jesus of course). However, my admiration for Oprah changed after the way that she treated people on her show and the way she responded to allegations against celebrities–Chris Brown, Micheal Jackson. l still think Oprah has a good heart, but I don’t think she is as wise as I thought she was.

    Just because someone isn’t a fan of Oprah doesn’t mean they hate her. I don’t hate anyone–not even people who commit the heinous acts. However, I don’t like her either. So, yes, someone can respect Oprah and dislike her at the same time. I think she has done good for the world–donating to Hurricane Katrina victims, etc. But, due to some of her actions, I don’t think she’s a great person–I think she is a decent individual.

  • the truth

    I used to admire the heck out of Oprah…but these days I find myself unable to watch her show. I no longer watch her show, nor do I like when anyone in the house watches her show. She is allowed to do whatever she wants, and say whatever she wants. This I understand, but I don’t agree with her portrayal of black men. I also don’t agree with how she treated Chris Bridges..a.k.a Ludacris on her show. If you don’t like somebody and have every intention of being rude to them, then don’t have them on the show. She is the BIGGEST sell out I have ever seen. She is filthy rich, yet does little in black communities. She is considered a philanthropist, yet she seems to only have one group of people in mind. It comes down to this, all in all, the majority of black men don’t like Oprah, and have every right to despise the bitch! Can’t wait ’til that sell out is off the air, or even better…has eaten her fat ass to death!

  • Paul

    Oprah Winfrey was able to snag the daytime arena from Phil Donahue because women watching daytime would rather see a woman talk show host rather than a male one. But because she was black she had to be careful to play the “Aunt Jemima” stereotype to cater to a white audience. This is not to deamean her character…she should not be blamed for having a magnetic personality which draws a TV audience to her. However, the fact that she has had past bad relationships with black men, including her father, made her more connected with other women than Donahue could be.

    I am a African-American Male and quite frankly I believe Oprah has a bias towards black men in general. She seems to have a certain type of black male that appeals to her: A famous black male celebrity that resonates well with a white audience that she already has. On the other extreme she will have the man that beats, rapes and molests women. These extreme representations of black men leaves a huge middle demographic of black men, who are not famous and who are not incarcerated, not properly represented if at all at all on Oprah’s show. She hides behind her “right” not to have certain controversial black figures like Ice Cube on her show despite numerous projects of his that have been promoted on her show.

    I will however give Oprah props on other issues like racism that she has done ( ie blue eye vs. brown eye discrimination) and the one or two episodes on men’s issues ( I am wondering if that was done cover her **s)

    Phil Donahue on the other hand has had numerous of black male professionals and controversial black male figures on his show. I have seen the likes of Ice T and Louis Farrakhan as well as educators like Richard Majors, PHD, Pychology Professor and Chairman of the National Council of African-American Men. I have seen topics like affirmative action where the entire audience was filled with black men only… how come that has never occurred on Oprah?

    In fairness, Donahue being a white male may have given him the opportunity to present black men more often w/o being scrutinized the way Oprah may have been, but I also feel this has to do with more of her personal preference than politics. I have heard statements from Oprah like “black men need to step up” or “black men are not available” for relationships (w/ black women) in an audience filled with just women only.

    All in all, when Oprah leaves the airwaves on May 25th, 2011, the majority of black men in America may be able to finally exhale! Then possibly pick up the pieces of their fragmented lives.

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