Sunday, August 24, 2008

read if it suits you.

Searching for a pair of long-lost earplugs, I came across this page scribbled in by a younger me. It’s something I wrote roughly four years back, as a presentation of an assignment I’d prepared for an English Project. It’s brought back memories of me , sitting cross legged on the stairs, talking to Guneet about women of color, as I hurriedly concluded a rather ambitious project. It’s about Oprah Winfrey. It’s about what’s held my interest all these years. It’s about Guneet shouting her lungs out and expressing immense disappointment in me, each time I’d use the “N” word, as she would, and still does, put it. It’s about what she's taught me, and about most of the reason I’ve been laughed at. It is, but a simple presentation, by a fifteen year old, that boasts of no heavy words, or fancy expressions, but utmost honesty; and I choose to post it word-to-word as the original. I hope you enjoy it, and kindly excuse the grammer :).

The topic of my assignment is:-

"Oprah Winfrey - The Successful Black Woman"

As the very first page of my assignment states, my assignment is dedicated to "all those with a vision, and more importantly with the determination to being about a phenomenon, termed change"

My assignment begins from a grassroot level, defining the term "discrimination", as a categorisation or delineation in the society on the basis of sex, race, cast, creed or origin , either or which, if critically analysed, stand unjustified.

I thoroughly discuss discrimination on the basis of race as a socially existing vice that comprises of placing the "whites" on a pseudo-high platform providing them with immense opportunities and depriving the blacks, of any. It is a default assumption, that whites are intellectually and creatively superior than the black or brown, an assumption not scaffolded by an biological or scientific fact. The direct consequence of such categorisation in the State is the departure from a cordially existing society wherein people make frequent use of terms like "niggers" or "nigeroes".

I choose to discuss " discrimination on the basis of sex" henceforth, and the manner in which the society deprives women of any possible opportunities, transforming them into professional failures and ending the symbiotic relationship thats should exist in the society. Such a practice discourages the attempt of the State to tap maximum potential from the masses, as it directly cuts off half the talent.

Through my assignment, I make an effort to tempt the reader to reflect upon the immense drudgery a black woman is cursed with, as a consequence of a double-fold discrimination. This entire discussion was to make the reader realise the gravity of the situation and to magnify the achievements of the black woman who inspired me to pen down this project- Oprah Gene Winfrey.

Born in Mississippi, Oprah Winfrey stayed with her grandmother for the first three years of her life. Oprah's grandmother was highly concerned about her intellectual growth and made Oprah learn to read by the age of three, an age, most children barely learn to speak. Unfortunately, Oprah had to spend the next decade of her life in rural areas with her mother, and that comprised the most traumatic phase of her life. She was sexually abused for five continuous years by her cousin, uncle and then her boyfriend, and in year 1988, Oprah confessed having suffered teenage pregnancy and having lost her child in the foetus stage.

Even after such agony, Oprah began her broadcasting career at the age of 17, for a local radio station and later served as a reporter to them. And hence began her endless struggle for success, months in and out. She switched jobs from hosting radio shows to enacting plays and hosting local TV shows, but she always lacked an audience, being "The Black woman who spoke the White Language".

It was only in 1986 that Oprah started , "The Oprah Winrey Show" which brought her immediate success. In year 1989, this show won three Daytime Emmy Awards, those for The Best Anchor, The Best Talk Show and The Best Direction. In the very next year, Oprah became the youngest and the "Fifth Woman" in the world to receive the "Best Broadcaster of the Year" award. And ever since, Oprah has never looked back. She was listed among the top 100 Most Influential People by the Times Magazine and today lives as "the richest Black Woman Alive".

I conclude my presentation, expressing that terming Oprah's story as "yet another biography" would simply be understating it, for its grown more into a fable this day; the fable of the woman with the worst of the circumstances and the best of the talent, the fable where determination transpired misery into immediate success, the fable, that promises to inspire the lives of many to come..

*Not that I no longer come up with jokes that demean women, but I guess I've learnt quite a lesson here, and I genuinely hope I don't always need an obnoxious nagging girl by my side to learn more in life.