Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globes: a lesson in speaking your truth
Oprah for president! That was the dominant headline following this year’s Golden Globe Awards. Standing before a room of Hollywood’s elite clothed in somber black, Oprah Winfrey delivered a rousing speech reminiscent of the world’s great leaders. Many went as far as to call her address worthy of a future presidential candidate. Wouldn’t that be something?!
I could quote her entire speech for its poignancy and gravitas but for the sake of brevity, I’ll link to the video clip below and select the parts that spoke to me the most.
On receiving the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille award, Oprah told of how “proud and inspired” she was “by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.”
The crux of her message though came through this line:
“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
You will never know the far-reaching effect you might have on someone else simply by being your most authentic self. She described her own memory as a little girl of watching as Sidney Poitier became the first black man to receive an Oscar award in 1964. Similarly, she alluded to “little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.” A full circle moment and, for us, a true example of paying it forward.
Oprah went on to express another example, this time of Rosa Parks who, as she refused to give up her seat on that fateful bus in Montgomery, was reminded of Recy Taylor’s tale of abuse by a group of white men. All of these heroic tales of speaking out have paved the way for today’s generation of brave women speaking their own truths.
The overriding theme of the evening was undoubtedly the Time’s Up movement but it was Oprah’s mesmerizing speech that truly gave it a voice. She inspired every single one of us not to let the voices of those who have gone before us go wasted… the Rosa Parks’, the Recy Taylors and so many others who have suffered through, abuse, sexism, racism and social injustice at the hands of those more powerful.
She spoke directly to us, the living generation going forward, to take up the call to tell our own stories with truth and pride and to stand up against injustice. To quote another great leader: “be the change you want to see in the world”. And like Ghandi, hopefully it inspires each of us to find our own inner power and speak our own truth.
Oprah’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN5HV79_8B8