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Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi to a poor single mother. Abused as a child and faced with the worst challenges the world had to offer, Oprah didn’t allow the status quo deprive her of the life she envisioned for herself.
This is Ophrah’s definition of success as told by her, enjoy.

“Part of the process for me as an adult has been recognizing that my inability as an adult female to say “No,” my disease to please as a female, is the same thing that caused me to be victimized as a child. Because many times, I would get myself into situations as an adult where I didn’t want to say “no” because I didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. I didn’t want to say “No” because I didn’t want anybody angry with me. I didn’t want to say “No” because I didn’t want people to think I’m not nice. And that, to me, has been the greatest lesson of my life: to recognize that I am solely responsible for it, and not trying to please other people, and not living my life to please other people, but doing what my heart says all the time. That’s the biggest lesson for me.

“It’s very difficult for me to even see myself as successful because I still see myself as in the process of becoming successful. To me, “successful” is getting to the point where you are absolutely comfortable with yourself. And it does not matter how many things you have acquired.

“As long as I can be an influence and make a difference, that’s what I want to do. But I also want to act because I think that it’s very important to create work that for one, puts the black cultural experience on screen. I’ve been black, I’ve been female all my life. That’s the only thing I know. So I know that experience. I love being a woman, and I love being a black woman. I read mostly female literature because I just find that I’m drawn to it. If I’m in a book store, I’m drawn to the women writers because that’s what I know. And so I want to be able to put that on screen. I want to be able to do work that encourages, enlightens, uplifts and entertains people.

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“For me, education is about the most important thing because that is what liberated me. Education is what liberated me. The ability to read saved my life. I would have been an entirely different person had I not been taught to read when I was an early age. My entire life experience, my ability to believe in myself, and even in my darkest moments of sexual abuse and being physically abused and so forth, I knew there was another way. I knew there was a way out. I knew there was another kind of life because I had read about it. I knew there were other places, and there was another way of being. It saved my life, so that’s why I now focus my attention on trying to do the same thing for other people.”

Quotes Credit: Excerpt for an Interview, on Feb 21.1991, Chicago, at the Gallery of Achievement.

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