From the Ed­i­tor

Suzanne Boyd

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS -

WE ARE hav­ing a mo­ment of reck­on­ing. Nat­u­ral dis­as­ters – a re­sult of long ges­tat­ing is­sues with the en­vi­ron­ment – and ma­jor up­heavals in our pol­i­tics and cul­ture have crossed class, race and gen­der bar­ri­ers and continue to hold us all in a col­lec­tive grasp as we wait to see how the dust set­tles on this new world or­der if, in fact, it does.

Where we once turned to our na­tional and our reli­gious lead­ers to guide us through tu­mul­tuous times, our cul­tural icons are now tak­ing to the pub­lic pul­pit, us­ing their voices to bring us hope. Ev­ery mo­ment gets the icon it needs to meet it and, for us at this time, it is Oprah Win­frey.

For more than 30 years, Win­frey’s rad­i­cal open­ness about her tra­vails and tri­umphs and her em­pa­thetic ap­proach has cre­ated a deep and per­sonal con­nec­tion to us, her au­di­ence. We’ve cried and laughed and cheered along­side her. Even be­fore com­plete so­cial me­dia am­pli­fi­ca­tion, Win­frey had a plat­form like no other, one she flexed to pow­er­ful ef­fect in anoint­ing a lit­tle-known Illi­nois se­na­tor with a com­plex bi­og­ra­phy “The One” in 2007 dur­ing his first quixotic pres­i­den­tial run.

Of course, that se­na­tor was Barack Obama, and it was his 2004 break­out Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion key­note ad­dress, with its uni­fy­ing mes­sage of a “pur­ple Amer­ica,” that el­e­vated him to a pres­i­den­tial con­tender in the first place.

No one, per­haps only Win­frey could have pre­dicted the seis­mic ef­fect of her ac­cep­tance speech on re­ceiv­ing the Ce­cil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes for “out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the world of en­ter­tain­ment” – an un­der­state­ment, re­ally. Af­ter all, her life and work ethic have taken her from the seg­re­gated south on a jour­ney as epic as one could hope to imag­ine, into an award-win­ning ac­tor, a bil­lion­aire busi­ness mogul and global phi­lan­thropist. The speech, which both stunned and elec­tri­fied the room, went vi­ral as a ral­ly­ing cry to all gen­ders and all races and im­me­di­ate- ly in­spired a groundswell of Oprah 2020 spec­u­la­tion. And it’s lit­tle won­der that given th­ese di­vi­sive times, she is seen as an alle­vi­at­ing bea­con.

For as she said that night, “In my ca­reer, what I’ve al­ways tried my best to do, whether on tele­vi­sion or through film, is to say some­thing about how men and women re­ally be­have. To say how we ex­pe­ri­ence shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we re­treat, per­se­vere and how we over­come. I’ve in­ter­viewed and por­trayed peo­ple who’ve with­stood some of the ugli­est things life can throw at you, but the one qual­ity all of them seem to share is an abil­ity to main­tain hope for a brighter morn­ing, even dur­ing our dark­est nights.”

In Oprah we trust.

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