Tag Archives: oprah

“Is Oprah Winfrey Medium Complexioned?” and Sammy Sosa

Someone googled “is oprah winfrey medium complexioned” six times and some how ended up on this blog.  Um…I don’t get it.  Somebody fill me in, is there some kind of controversy over Oprah’s skin color that I haven’t heard about?  Did she describe herself as medium complexed?  God forbid she say that she’s dark skinned, huh?  SMH, skin color is still a very polarizing concept…well, maybe it’s better said that it’s a polarizing reality in the Black community (Indian community, Latino community, West Indian community, etc).

I’m sure this is just a random occurance, but as an African American woman, I would not be surprised about a color controversy.  Look at the Sammy Sosa situation.  Clearly the man has used some sort of skin lightening treatment.  When you look at an older picture of his previously chocolate brown skin…why would you even have to wonder? I believe the claim that Sosa’s lightened skin in this photo is the result of a skin rejuvenation process and the bright TV lights at the awards show he was attending with his wife.

According to Sosa, who addressed the skin controversy with ESPNDeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas, he is using a cream that “whitens” his skin. Mostly, Sosa said, it’s a skin softener.

Sosa is from the Dominican Republic.  I’ve seen it noted several times that many Dominican women (and many people around the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and yes, here in the US) Dominican women straighten their hair, which some experts say is a direct result of a historical learned rejection of all things black.  This rejection, seen in many diasporan cultures, has also manifested in the use of skin lightening creams.

Fair-Skin Fashion Boosts Sales of Whitening Creams in India

Sosa is symptomatic of global self-hatred

Indian men hope skin cream will change their status, fortune

Skin-lightening creams face FDA ban: Dermatologists defend treatment…

Cream labelled ‘racism in a bottle’

The Skin Bleaching Phenomenon – Commentary

This is not an isolated incident of self hate.  Sosa is just dark skinned person dealing with issues of self hate that are rooted in the concept that the closer your skin tone is to white, the more beautiful/handsome you are.  He’s just assimilating to the value system he’s been taught to respect.  That racist system of thought devalues dark skin, period.  It is not celebrated.  It is not desirable.  Therefore, I say the correct response is education and understanding, not ridicule.

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I need tickets: Oprah bringing show to DC for Obama’s inauguration

Props to DCist for Twittering this…lol. I need tickets people. I’m going to be on Oprah’s website day and night looking for those tickets. Oh my goodness I will be getting no sleep from Jan 19-20…good Lord.

Access Hollywood gets the credit for the big scoop that Oprah Winfrey has announced she will bring her wildly popular television show to Washington for the presidential inauguration. The media magnate said she will broadcast from the Kennedy Center’s Opera House during the week of Jan. 20.

Washington is “the place to be,” she told the entertainment program.

The New York Times says Oprah will tape one show here for sure on Jan. 19, and then likely one more show that week, though the date is not yet confirmed. We’d put our money on Jan. 21.

We can almost hear her introducing her first show broadcast from our fair city now …

“Hellooo DEE-CEEEEEeeeee!”

Information about how to get tickets will be posted on Oprah.com next week.

Note: This post was quoted by the Wash Post Express. YAY!

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Friday Question: Who are today’s black leaders?

Hello, Negro wants to know who you consider to be a black leader in the 21st century?  Please, don’t just name Obama and Oprah…and Jesse, and Al.  Pull out that most influential people issue of Ebony magazine if you need to.  LOL

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Oprah’s New Cable Network and Obama Backlash

I don’t really think we have anything to worry about. Oprah is not going to go down the path of Bob Johnson. She will join only one other Black Owned network I can think of, TV One.

However, I will be interested to see what kind of programming she’ll have. She has noted that the channel will offer “shows that make my heart sing.” The Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, will premier in 2009.  Don’t you just love that…OWN!!!  You betta use the power of words, girl!!!  The channel will be replacing Discovery Health Channel. I love the Discovery Health Channel, so I’m sad to see it go. All those baby shows are really compelling. LOL Under terms of the partnership, Winfrey will serve as chairman of OWN, a 50-50 ownership split between Discovery and her media company, Harpo Productions.

In other news, several news sources are reporting that Oprah’s website has received a whole lot of abuse and negative comments  since the queen of daytime joined Barack Obama on a tour of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in mid-December.  The focus seems to be on the fact that she is choosing a man over Hillary, a woman.

Yet a backlash by Clinton supporters appears to have prompted a rethink by Winfrey, the African-American media titan who is routinely described as the most influential woman on television.

She did not reappear in the final days before the New Hampshire primary – which Obama lost to Clinton – and has been absent from the most recent campaigning in South Carolina, which votes next weekend.

Obama aides believe that Winfrey will return to the campaign. Her own staff noted last week that in addition to her daily broadcasts on television and satellite radio, she has also been busy negotiating a multi-million-dollar deal with the Discovery cable network – Timesonline UK

Very intersting…let’s see how this plays out.

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Bishop Thomas Weeks III tells his story to BET!

BET aired an exclusive video interview with Bishop Thomas Weeks, III given by Gerard Henry today at 11 AM. (If you missed it, it will be re-aired tonight at 10 PM.) In the interview, Bishop Weeks gave his version of the alleged beating and stomping of his wife (Juanita Bynum) on August 21, 2007. He also discussed their initial courtship, marriage, and gave his opinion on Juanita Bynum’s possible motives related to the altercation as well her overall ambitions.

According to Bishop Weeks, he was in a hotel room with Juanita and decided to leave because their argument was getting too intense. She followed him to his truck and tried to prevent him from getting in. He pushed her and she fell to the ground. The bellman came running over and grabbed him and tried to fight him. They struggled a bit and Juanita yelled “Don’t hit my husband” to the bellman. To further avoid fighting, Bishop Weeks left the scene. He also stated that they were not meeting to reconcile because they were already reconciled. They’d had sex 4 days before the incident as well as the night before. He was there because she needed a place to hold her upcoming meeting and wanted to use his church facilities. (Mind you, back in June she told their congregation that she was not planning to return to that church, according to Bishop Weeks in a previous news conference.) He said that in the course of their marriage, he has never hit or choked his wife. He said the pictures provided of the wounds came from her family a day or so after the fact. He suggested that the pictures were fake and that he was set up.

Bishop Weeks also discussed their courtship and their marriage issues. He said that back in March 2002, Juanita Bynum flew him to meet with her to help her with the administration process of a women’s conference she was planning in Tampa, Florida that year. With his help, her conference went from 1,800 registrants to 29,000. Some time after the conference ended (and a couple of weeks after they had been dating), she called him and told him that she thought they should get married. He agreed. He said he also figured that since she had taught so much on the process of being a godly woman and wife, he thought he was getting a prepared woman. Throughout the course of their marriage, he said that she called for a divorce two other times because of rumors that he was gay, which he denies. He also said that she, in fact, had been the abuser in their relationship. In his first example, he shared that while he was trying to finish an email he was drafting while riding in a 10 seat-er limo with her, she got frustrated with his lack of attention to her. She then threw down the laptop, grabbed him by his tie and said to him that he is going to treat her the way she wants to be treated. In another account, he said that after she had some kind of operation (he didn’t give details of the operation), she was annoyed about something and hit him in the head twice while he was in bed. He had to catch her hand before he hit him a third time. Continue reading

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The Great Debaters: Loved it, but they debated USC not Harvard

I loved “The Great Debaters”!  I saw it on Sunday and I think it’s something that the African American community should be excited about.  It’s a must see, especially for young people.  Take your children.  Take your family.  Discuss, discuss, discuss.  We need more movies like “The Great Debaters”!  Kudos to Oprah and Denzel…and all the actors too.  Especially that young man that played Mr. Lowe…good grief he is fine.  Denzel, you’re fine but you’re getting old.  Pass the torch to that young man, please.  Give him your mantle…your anointing…I think he can manage it.  LOL

My only issue with the movie was that Wiley College didn’t debate Harvard…they debated USC.  I heard this from a friend and went online to research…lots of people are buzzing about it…especially black news sites.

As part of their tour, Wiley College’s debate team defeated the reigning champions—not Harvard as in the movie, but the University of Southern California’s team—on the USC campus in Bovard auditorium. Denzel Washington is quoted in the Harvard Crimson as explaining that the site of the debate in the film was moved from USC to Harvard “because Harvard is the gold standard.”

In addition, according to the New York Times the “film omits one reality: even though they beat the reigning champions, the Great Debaters were not allowed to call themselves victors because they were not truly considered to belong to the debate society; blacks were not admitted until after World War II. The movie also explores the social milieu of the American South during the Great Depression including not only the day to day insults and slights African Americans had to endure, but also a lynching. James L. Farmer, Jr. , who was on Wileys’ debate team at 14 years old after completing high school (and who would later go on to co-found the Congress of Racial Equality) is also depicted. According to the Houston Chronicle, another character depicted on the team, Samantha Booke, is based on the real individual Henrietta Bell, “the only female member of the 1930 debate team from Wiley College who participated in the first collegiate interracial debate in the United States.” Also, according to the Marshall News Messenger, “there is no evidence that a debate with Harvard ever happened…. the debate Bell remembers was probably with Oxford University of England.” – Wikipedia

Reading the Wiki entry I found out that Denzel is giving Wiley College 1 million dollars so they can re-establish their debate team.  Awww, fine and a nice guy too!  That Denzel…so sexy.

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Do WE really want Obama to WIN?

Eugene Robinson’s piece in today’s Washington post, “Oprah the Believer” made me ask that question…WE being the black community as a whole. Are we really behind the idea…here and now…for 2008? Do we just like the idea…but think it should happen soon, but not this soon? What do you think that MOST black people really think about Obama winning the 2008 presidential race??

Is it foolish to think that a nation stained by centuries of slavery and racism is prepared to elect a black president? Rarely phrased so bluntly, that’s the central question posed by Barack Obama’s candidacy — especially for many African American voters, whose doubts are informed by having seen many an oasis turn out to be a mirage.

Oprah Winfrey, as is her wont, cut to the heart of the matter. Campaigning on Obama’s behalf this weekend, she echoed the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in offering permission to believe.

“Dr. King dreamed the dream,” Winfrey told a predominantly black crowd of 29,000 in Columbia, S.C. “But we don’t have to just dream the dream anymore. We get to vote that dream into reality.”

There are many in the African American establishment who consider Winfrey’s exhortation a bit of starry-eyed nonsense. There are senior black Democrats who can barely hide their exasperation at Obama’s success, which they see as a mortal threat to a Democratic victory in November. Andrew Young is the latest to go public with his pique, saying in remarks reported over the weekend that he wants Obama to be president, but not until 2016. If Obama somehow managed to win this time, Young said, he couldn’t possibly be effective: “To put a brother in there by himself is to set him up for crucifixion.”

Others of comparable stature have griped privately to me that this whole Obama thing is madness, that he can’t possibly win and that with a known quantity such as Hillary Clinton in the race, this is no time to go chasing rainbows. They point out that in the nation’s history we’ve elected only two black governors — Douglas Wilder in Virginia and Deval Patrick in Massachusetts. If Americans, in all these years, have only elected two black men to run a state, are they really going to elect a black man to run the whole country?

2 governors…dag and Patrick is kinda recent.  Makes you think.

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