By Chioma Aduba, Monday, May 23, 2011, at 11:54 pm.
Named “Best of the ‘Dog Blogs” by Bulldog Reporter on May 26, 2011.
Oprah Winfrey changed the face of not just daytime TV but all TV. She came into our homes a quarter-century ago and faithfully returned day after day, hooking housewives, young women and even some men. I know because I am among her faithful. I don’t remember a life before the queen of talk graced America’s screens. My mother watched her. My aunties watched her. And both my sisters watched her religiously.
Regardless of her onscreen rivals—from the racy Ricki Lake to Judge Judy and her reality court compadres to even “Guiding Light”—Oprah has stayed atop the ratings chart through many iterations of daytime TV. People weren’t just watching Oprah but listening to what she had to say. Her Midas touch has launched products from obscurity to category leaders, introducing us to everything from the Amazon Kindle to Spanx, and it has changed the careers of authors around the world. She got an entire country reading again just as the Internet was hitting its stride.
It’s not just what she has done for brands and books, but it’s also the lessons (and one-liners) that viewers will remember long after she has left network TV. Oprah taught us what bra to wear, how to pick the perfect mate and even how to find our own “favorite things.” She taught us that when people show you who you are, believe them. And that when you know better, you do better. She taught us that you are not where you come from and that even the poorest of people with the worst of circumstances can rise to success and prosper. Most of all, Oprah taught us that as long as you’re living your best life, you will continually have full-circle moments that will send you into ugly cries and “aha” moments heard round the world.
So to the woman who essentially helped raise me, I have to be honest and say… I’m just not ready. You have given us backstage passes to the Oscars, your show and your life. You’ve been generous with your time, your money and yourself. You’ve been there for us all during the good, the bad, the hard and the easy. You’ve forced us to confront the ugly things of the world with love and made us realize that everyone has a story. You’ve allowed yourself to be vulnerable in front of millions and shown us the beauty of true friendship. You’ve taught us lessons and learned your own along the way, as all great teachers do. Most of all, you’ve taught us about the power of faith and to always bet on ourselves.
I don’t know a world before you, and I can’t imagine one without you. I know you’re not leaving, just changing your address, but you’ve been my friendly neighbor for so long that the block just won’t be the same without you. You have said many times on your show that all anyone really wants to know is “Do you hear me?” The answer, Ms. Winfrey, is yes, every word. I know the hour is here and the time is now, but I have to be honest and say… I’m just not ready.
Photo credit: creative commons/ by Alan Light