Originally created 02/28/05

Oprah Winfrey: Determination at its Best



Determination is defined as showing a fixed purpose; firm on a belief. Some people are determined to buy a yacht, be the most popular person, or win a million dollars. Then there are others who determined to make a difference in their lives and eventually a change in others lives. These are the people who are thinking, "What can I do to make this a better place?" Oprah Winfrey is an influential black woman who has decided to take this statement and make a reality.

Oprah Winfrey was born January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Even at age three she was already working on her career in broadcasting by learning to read aloud and performing recitations. Three years later Oprah Winfrey would go stay with her mother, where she suffered through a lot of abuse. After she had enough of the abuse and molestation, she ran away and only to be sent to juvenile detention home at the age of 13. After she was denied admission to the detention center she decided to stay with her father in Nashville. Oprah's father was determined to make her life the best it could be. He would not accept anything less than her best.

Oprah Winfrey attended Tennessee State University, where she majored in Speech Communication and Performing Arts. Then in 1978 she discovered she had a talent for hosting talk shows where she became co-host of WJZ-TV'S "People Are Talking". Oprah was determined to become a talk show host that she turned a sitting on the fence talk show into the most popular show in town. Then in 1985 it was renamed "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Oprah's strong affinity for acting encouraged her to from the production company, Harpo Productions, Inc, in 1986. She campaigned to establish a national database of convicted child abusers, which Bill Clinton signed the "Oprah Bill" into law in 1993. She was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century by Time Magazine. Then 2003 she was disclosed as the first African-American woman to become a billionaire. These are just a few of her many honors, awards, and achievements.

I believe Oprah Winfrey is the best example of an African American woman who took her tribulations and made them her stepping stone into her future. She is truly the best example of determination at its best.