African American Women

We Americans are a competitive lot.  We love to be first, biggest, boldest, fastest, strongest.

Included in the list of lists are many African American women but one particular African American woman seems to be at the top of many lists.

This amazing lady is Oprah Winfrey, star and producer of her own television talk show that just happens to be the highest ranked talk show in history.  She is also credited with being the 20th century’s richest African American, the most philanthropic African American ever, and, for three years in a row, she was cited as being the only African American billionaire in the entire world.  Many people say she is the most influential of all women in the world.

All this acclaim started from very humble beginnings in a tiny town in Mississippi.  Her earliest years were spent with her very poor grandmother in rural Mississippi until she moved to the ghetto of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to live with her mother.

Winfrey’s grandmother instilled the power of religion and education in the child, which helped her deal commendably with the troubling and dysfunctional life she faced with her mother.  Her strong scholastic aptitude helped her finish high school early and she went on to study at Tennessee State University.  It was at college where she got her first media exposure working at a local radio station.

Her name began appearing on the list of firsts when she became the first black female news anchor at a Nashville TV station.  She was also the station’s youngest news anchor.

A move to Chicago grew into her own television talk show which quickly became more popular than the highest rated show in that city at the time and it soon became the highest rated talk show in America.

Winfrey’s scope of influence for African American women, and all women everywhere, quickly expanded to movies for the big screen and television, Broadway plays, books, magazines, and radio.  Her generous philanthropic efforts are known around the world.

From the humblest of beginnings, Winfrey overcame a life of strife and hardship to become a world leader, respected and revered by heads of state and business leaders and by everyday people, too.

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