"Into the Light" Interview with Oprah Winfrey for the Emmy-nominated film "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."
If you ever are in a position to meet a celebrity—to have any exchange longer than the time it takes to shoot a selfie—your friends are going to ask you the inevitable question: “What’s she like?”
And so when you have the chance to sit on a couch with Oprah Winfrey for 54 minutes—plus the extra time she takes after she tells you to turn off the tape recorder so she can share some wisdom off the record—you know you better have a good answer.
Mine is this:
Imagine that you started life a poor colored girl shuffled around between Mississippi, Wisconsin Tennessee, where neither your dirt-poorness nor the abuses you experience can stifle your gifts or your talent for speaking. Imagine getting into newscasting and, despite being Black, a woman, and a big girl to boot, you become an award-winning TV talk-show host. You spin that success into a media enterprise, producing a magazine, movies, TV shows, stage plays, etc. (You even start acting—and get and Oscar nomination for your first movie.)
Even your infrequent stumbles turn into experiences you turn into life lessons that you can share with your audiences. Now you have so much money that a $43-million dollar investment in, say, a weight-loss company, represents only 1% of your net worth. Imagine that you keep having good ideas and the energy and wherewithal to make them happen—and all objective evidence seems to prove that nothing you do will fail. And you are 63 years old—well past caring about people’s opinions of you—and rooted in a belief that you are, first and forever, a child of God and that you’re here for one purpose: to inspire people.
If that were your story, what would you be like? Well, you hope you’d be like Oprah: A homegirl with a golden touch, a woman who knows from whence her power comes.... (more)
"Sisters Strong" interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts and her siblings.
Tune in to Good Morning America on any given weekday, and there’s Robin Roberts—sleek and stylish, with that rich voice and open smile. By appearances alone, you’d never know that just months ago she was battling for her life....(more)
Heart & Soul
"Should Your Doctor Look Like You?" Part of a 5-article series on mental health.
Nina Wayman, a North Carolina public relations pro, is always the picture of poise. But when she recalls one awful night in 2006, her words are raw: “My sister and I agreed that if we ever saw that woman again, we’d kick her ass.”
"That woman” is the doctor who tried to have Wayman involuntarily committed to a mental institution….(more)
The African-American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes
with Constance Brown Riggs
….Ultimately, you will find your rock within you. It may be your faith. It may be your sense of determination—that no matter what happens, you are committed to doing the thing you say you are going to do. Ironically, your rock may be your flexibility—your ability to flow with whatever life presents you and make the best of it. But know that you have a God-given something within you that will sustain you when no one else can. It is this rock (and your faith in it) that will carry you through this health journey—and the long journey that is your life....(more)