The last time #BlackTwitter’s fake rage ensued after Oprah’s “Where Are They Now?” interview with the beautiful Raven Symone it passed. Just for giggles, you can watch a rather “passé” Raven reject labels at the 1:15 mark.
To which Oprah replies, “Oh Lord don’t set Twitter on fire!”
My sentiments exactly as I watched Oprah’s Interview with People Magazine.
The wildfire spread when Shaun King shared a screenshot of her comments on Twitter:
I agree with Oprah in context of her full statement. I want to challenge my comrades in the struggle to consider the divisive nature of our media as we move forward. I watched several of Oprah’s interviews from her media tour for Selma. Most of the articles reference the interview above with People’s Magazine.
In contrast to her comments in People, interviews like this CBS This Morning clip, or her interview from Selma’s New York Premiere and Entertainment Tonight reveal a passionate Oprah who received a divine revelation through the art of Ava DuVernay. Ava’s ability to capture this story on limited means resonates amidst her historic Globe nods.
To my original point, the moment we are in matters most and cannot afford miscommunications or misunderstandings commonly caused by sensational mediums. I like to imagine Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant talking every day since Ferguson’s “Fix My Life” special. I can understand why Ferguson appears disorganized. Inaccuracies appear more often than not in the 24-hour news cycle. Oprah is well read and has proven her ability to research the roots of Ferguson Action, NFP.
Like the activists and organizers of Selma in 1965, Ferguson organizers were successful in using nontraditional mediums to organize over four months of civil disobedience. Leaders were not appointed or elected by the public. Instead, self-appointed leaders stood up to accept resources and to organize a legal structure. Employing group centered leadership enabled them to seamlessly collaborate with similar organizations to draft an agenda and incite change using protest politics.
My beloved community it behooves us to unite in this war on oppression.
Have we chosen to advance the multi-faceted and intergenerational movement of our generation?
Are we ready to filter through public criticisms and remain collective in humility, transparency, and strategy?
I recently changed my perspective in light of exchanges and episodes I have witnessed and engaged. Of course, remaining positive and optimistic in this struggle is easier said than done. Nonetheless sowing discord in public spaces can do more harm than good when it matters most.
Oprah’s strong convictions on intentional leadership and strategy are indicative of her lived experience, wisdom and forward-thinking. Ferguson Action is not the litmus test of black leadership, nor is Oprah Winfrey. Both have successfully employed mediums to reach loyal followers and develop credibility among those who have power over propaganda. The current power structure has endless resources. We must resolve to ignore media pawns who terrorize social media by causing confusion, reverence our elders, and embrace leadership.
Black Excellence Project encourages all to accept the responsibility of this calling. The role demands strong leadership who are accountable to vision. The production and distribution of Selma in such a divine time serves up new wine in an old skin. The movie is an art form expressing the sad reality of America at a time where civil disobedience is affecting serious change for us all. By using art to inspire revelation we will enlighten the desensitized on the long term effects of continuing systems of human oppression.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter, don’t mind. Those who mind, don’t matter.” –Dr. Seuss