“What I know for sure is speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” Oprah Winfrey
I’m not an obsessive fan of Oprah Winfrey, but most definitely a professional admirer. I think she’s thoroughly earned her reputation as an interviewer and a humanitarian.
After a lifetime in the media and entertainment business, no-one would expect less of Oprah than eloquence, authenticity and inclusiveness. But she nailed it utterly today in her acceptance speech as the first black woman to achieve the Cecil B De Mille Award at the Golden Globes. The award acknowledges “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”. Today I heard the voice of a powerful activist capturing the mood of women worldwide.
“… tonight I want 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. They are the women whose names we will never know.”
And then she gained instant global recognition for Recy Taylor. Taylor was a young wife and mother, who in 1944, while walking home from church in Alabama, was abducted by six armed white men, raped and left blindfolded by the side of the road. She died just ten days ago “just shy of her 90th birthday” said Winfrey.
Judging by the applause in the room and the amount of online sharing, Oprah has struck a chord.
#metoo ( and now #timesup) has brought women face to face with a real chance to be listened to when they talk about harassment and abuse. It’s also temporarily paralysed many of us as we realise the extent of the impact it’s had on our lives.
I blubbed uncontrollably listening to Oprah’s speech. I sincerely hope we can maintain this momentum and achieve that new day Oprah promised is on the horizon “where nobody has to say “#metoo” again”.