Thank you Oprah. I Feel Like I’ve Been to Church

The speech Oprah Winfrey gave at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards could be a tutorial for preachers stepping into a pulpit.

She began by sharing her personal story of epiphany.

Oprah was “a little girl watching from the cheap seats, as my mom came through the door bone-tired from cleaning other people’s houses. ” But in a moment of bright hope, she watched a beautiful Black man applauded and celebrated by the world. She had no idea this could be any sort of reality until that moment of enlightenment.

It changed her forever. That experience opened up within her a space for dreaming and becoming that did not exist until that moment. She saw a light which darkness would never be able to overcome.

She named the evil…

Oprah didn’t dwell on it, didn’t sensationalize it, didn’t characterize the current situation as hopeless. But she spoke clearly and boldly about the “corruption and injustice. The tyrants and victims and secrets and lies.” There is right and wrong in this world; there is good and there is bad and every prophetic voice like Orpah’s must speak with courage and clarity to name what is destructive and harmful.

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men.”

We must name it. We must call it out. We must give it notice. No matter the odds, no matter the risk, we speak truth to power and expose darkness to the light.

She proclaimed the good news.

“Their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up.”

I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too’ again.

We are not there yet. That new day has not dawned yet.

But it will.

Because a lot of believers will keep on believing, will keep on standing up and speaking out and living into the dream.

And because the Spirit of Love and Justice and Peace that is bigger than all of us will keep breathing life and birthing hope among us.

So preach it, Sisters!


Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock