The circumstances surrounding the birth of a female infant in Kosciusko, Mississippi, on Jan.29, 1954,were not promising present was the usual mix that had so often accumulated into a burden too heavy for a single-parent household like the one Oprah Winfrey grew up in. The state in which she was born had laws in place waiting to characterize her as unwelcome, to bar her participation in otherwise accebtable social activities, to shackle her to the residue of slavery and other injustices of the past. The simple truth is that her grandmother, her great-grandmother and all the great-great-grandmothers before them never experienced one day of life free from the harsh decrees of state-sponsored racial repression.

In hindsight, it appears that her birth was an uneventful one. But at age three she was reciting speeches from church pulpits. Upon discovering books, the child delved into the written word, turning out weekly book reports for her father. Even during turbulent times, not a moment was wasted. Seeds were being planted, watered, and nurtured. On April 13, 1964, nearly an adolescent and watching television from the linoleum floor of her mother’s walk-up flat in something deep inside of her. She was watching the live broadcast of the Academy Awards ceremony and saw a young African-American actor receiving the film industry’s highest honor. Sharing in that moment and all it implied she later told me, caused her to say softly to herself, “If he can do that, I wonder what I could do?”

The ground had been set. The journey of Oprah Winfrey had begun. The babe, the child, the adolescent, the young woman-all their strengths were harnessed into a force of astonishing power that placed itself in the service of nature and the human family. That the world has changed in meaningful ways since 1954 is beyond question. Oprah and her activities were driving forces in many of those changes. Her enormously influential talk show, her philanthropic work with children in africa and elsewhere, her popular book club and magazine, her empowering spiritual message, her contribution (by action and example) to improving race relations-all speak to the human family, touching hearts and leaving each one uplifted.

Mississippi too seems to be mellowing out into a more congenial place than it was in 1954. that may also be partly due to the very sbecial enerav that is Oprah Winfrey-a courageous, funny, compassionate, well-informed, dazzlingly curious person, as down-to-earth and loving as any human being I’ve ever known.


故事的详情围绕在1954年六月29日出生于密西西比,科修斯科山的一个女婴。那时,对于像 Oprah Winfrey (奥普来.温弗里)这样日常开销负担特别繁重的单亲家庭来说,她的出身并不是那么让人期待。她所在的国家,已经有适当的法律等候着将她列为不受欢迎的对 象,阻击她参加其它合理的社交活动,让她背负上了奴隶制度剩余产物的枷锁,还有以往其它一些不公平的待遇。简单的事实就是她的祖母、曾祖母以及更早的一代 之前,在政府纵恿的种族镇压法令下,从未经历过一天生命的自由。

之后的迹象表明,她的出生似乎平淡无奇。但是,在她三年的时候,便开始在教堂的讲道坛背诵演说,在发现了书籍的之后,她便钻研上面写过的句子,每周 向她的父亲作一次书籍汇报。即使在那个动荡不安的年代,也从不浪费一刻功夫。种子正在播种灌溉。在1964年4月13日,她已成长为一个青少年,在她母亲 那间无电梯的公寓的油布地毯上,电视里的一些东西深深地触动了她。那时她正在看奥斯卡奖项的现场直播,一位年青的美国黑人演员被授予了电影行业中的最高荣 誉。在分享那个神圣的时刻之后,她告诉了我所有这一切都在暗暗地促使她轻声地告诉自己“他能做到,难道我就做不到吗?”

路已经被铺平了,Oprah Winfrey 开始了她的旅程。从婴儿到小孩、到青少年、再到年轻女士——万事俱备,使得她在服务于自然界与人类家庭上迸发出一种惊人的能力。从1954年起,毫无疑 问,世界已经以一种积极的方式发生着改变。Oprah和她的脱口秀是其中的很多改变动力。她影响深远的脱口秀、对非洲乃至其它地方的小孩博爱举动、广受欢 迎的书籍杂志俱乐部、激动人心的演说辞、以身作则为改善种族关系所作的贡献。这一切都讲给人类家庭,触动了他们的内心,每个人都深受鼓舞。