Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Since beginning as an unknown talk show host back in 1986, Oprah Winfrey has become one of the the most household names in American culture. Widely popularising the American talk show genre, Oprah Winfrey was a hugely influential woman. Being a black woman put her in a unique position to use her fame and influence to tackle both racial and gender issues that she felt strongly about.

The attached clip is from an episode aired in 1988 in which she invited a group of neo-nazi radicals to her studio and gave them a chance to explain and debate their beliefs. When the debate inevitably becomes personal she is able to hold her own not only as an African-American, but also as a woman holding her own against a group of men. She was undoubtedly a significant figure in 80s culture, becoming an inspiration to both feminist and racial movements.

When her show ended in May last year, she was widely recognised as being among the most influential women in the world. Throughout the years her show had evolved beyond simply a talk show, and into a show which sought to address specific causes and to enrich the lives of its viewers. Oprah has also become well known for her influence in popular culture. With regular reviews and book clubs, an endorsement from the Oprah Winfrey show came to be one of the best advertisements available.

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