The National Museum of African American History and Culture is set to honor “The Queen of All Media,” Oprah Winfrey, with her own exhibit opening this Friday, June 8, according to The Washington Post.
“Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture,” will feature a plethora of Winfrey memorabilia, including personal photographs, journals, video clips, interview segments and more.
Museum Director Lonnie G. Bunch III had this to say about the influential personality:
“What’s interesting is the same way America thought about Walter Cronkite — you could trust Walter Cronkite and his opinion — they trust Oprah. An African American woman becomes the person America turns to.”
Bunch went on to say Winfrey’s $21 million donation to the facility didn’t influence the decision to honor the media mogul.
“We made sure there was a bright line, that this was done by the museum and museum scholars,” he said. “The fundraising was not through Oprah’s people.”
Wifrey worked with curators Rhea L. Combs and Kathleen Kendrick on the exhibit, which will be broken down into three components.
The first section will explore Winfrey’s childhood and early career, including how the 1950s and ‘60s informed her worldview. Second, patrons will explore the 25-year run of the iconic Oprah Winfrey Show, ending with her role as a cultural influencer.
“There are so many issues, about women, power, media, body image,” Bunch shared. “This should be a popular show because of the impact of this person, but it is also a show that allows us to think about what it means that a woman who doesn’t fit the TV look could build a media empire and become an entrepreneur.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.