Flippant Remarks for Oprah Winfrey in 1986

These flippant remarks come from the two-part, 1986 Oprah Winfrey interview posted by The Undercover Black Man last March and this May.

Oprah Winfrey on being an actress instead of a talk show host:

And people say, “Oh, now you should go and do the movies.” And I think: Everything in its own time. I will continue to do this show for as long as this show is meaningful to me. And will do some acting in my spare time. I mean, to quit this job and go and just try to be an actress would be ridiculous…

Buy this DVD at!Excellent observation! In fact, Oprah Winfrey is the super-model of how so-called “artists” are supposed to thrive instead of survive in this here America. You get a stupid day job that uses your mundane skills and then spend the rest of your life undermining and subverting the “Maytag” world you made for yourself. When you lose your battle of subversion, you end up with a retirement fund with which you can spend the rest of your lamenting about not being “wild” enough. So this is actually a win-win situation.

Unfortunately, Oprah Winfrey went wild once (or twice) and did a movie called Beloved and then put herself on every cover of every major magazine trying to get “America” interested her movie about the deepest recesses of the cancerous psyche cultured in American slavery. As David Mills records in his interview, Oprah Winfrey confesses that she operates by feeling and likes to enjoy “the moment” instead of looking ahead through years. You are free to mistake these statements as that of a “free spirit” that does not dwell in the past and fears not the future—or you can see a person that failed to see that America often murders “the best” of us for political reasons. And it should not have been a surprise that America was going to murder Beloved—which is (in spite of the white-feminist suppression of Paul D) an excellent film. And I’m not saying this just because the mother of my second child played the young Oprah Winfrey in this film—trust me on this one… Oh, Lord, trust me…

Oprah WinfreyWhat Oprah should have done with Beloved is treat it like her version of Masterpiece Theatre. It should have been cast as a true labor of love and ‘veiled in secrecy’ to be released on a small scale and designed to be a part of teaching curricula for a youth education setting. Instead of Oprah throwing this Pulitzer-Prize winning story on the mercy of a market ruled by Regis and Kathy Lee, she should have made it like some mysterious, post-modern African ritual that all Africans must do. She should have made it like more like libation than a failed business.

What greater demonstration of wealth could there be than to “throw money away” doing a miniseries for young people built to last for years? Beloved as a miniseries with interstitial documentaries and Ken-Burns-like production values means that Oprah would not have time to work on it herself. She would have had to, say, let the mother of my second child star in the series (which would have made Danny Glover disappear from the cast and he would have to be replaced with another younger actor)… The production of Beloved would have mirrored the story itself: the elders letting go of the past and letting the young go out yonder… Instead, Oprah did what most successful individuals do: they go and do individually—not collectively… this is nothing to be proud of… these lone, individual efforts should always be framed in tragedy and the awareness of poverty…

Oprah Winfrey about being on television:

My way of describing what I do is that it is real television. It is as natural to me to go out there and be on the air as it is to sit here and breathe. I have no difference in my elevation of blood pressure or excitement or adrenaline from the time the camera goes on to the time the camera goes off, in terms of being nervous or wondering what to say.

What Oprah Winfrey is telling me is that she is a natural performer. In fact, I am certain that there have been times when she was doing more acting and performing on her “mundane” television day job than what we might see on the theatrical stage. My opinion is that actors do more acting when they are not acting than when they are supposed to be acting. Some actors seem to look forward to putting up with tedious company just to get a decent workout.

Oprah Winfrey’s relationship to excellence:

When I was 14 years old, I heard Rev. Jesse Jackson say that excellence is the best deterrent to racism. And it was a truth that resonated with me. And it is what I have always believed. Even before I heard him speak, it’s what I believed. It had not been articulated for me.

Whatever you may read here, never doubt that I even I am aware that Oprah Winfrey is of excellence. My savage feelings about the impact of her view of excellence on those that see her as a role model is one that is ultimately of individualistic existentialism—this is proof that Oprah Winfrey is an American. No one can take that away from her. When she says that her goal in life is to soar, my eye immediately sees one lone bird flying toward the setting sun… The bird is not a part of mass migration and it is not of a pattern seen through to the ancient past… She has done just as well as any of the people rendered in American paper currency… Mission accomplished…

Oprah Winfrey on a nation of millions holding us back:

If something goes wrong in my life, I don’t say it’s because I’m a woman, because I’m black. I say, well, first let me check out what I did or didn’t do.

For me to even attempt to criticize what Oprah says here would place me in the context of a weak man looking for excuses as to why things didn’t go my way. This accusation against me has been fucking ridiculous at times when I was, as a young man, sitting and listening to some self-possessed, Negro Pollyanna trying to give me a third-grade education in personal development. The Negro Pollyanna never stops and looks at the evidence left by me of what my efforts have accomplished so far and we waste my time listening to a monologue that Negro Pollyanna was never able tell the person or persons she really needed to talk to…

Oprah Winfrey tells me in the David Mills interview that there are people in her family who came to beg money from her after her public success and these beggars never seem to get on their own feet—and Oprah would never imagine that I could possibly be doing just a little bit better than the fucked up n-words in her family so she certainly would trap me in some tricycle speech about self-reliance… Anyway, let me calm down and get the bottom line: when Oprah says “first let me check out what I did or didn’t do” this is correct and very important. But after we get through looking at what we did, we can’t forget about what they did and will do… This, in the rasx() context, is a balanced view and too much self-absorption can lead to egocentric disasters (like eating-related weight problems)…

Oprah Winfrey on Black beauty:

Even during the whole Black Power movement when everybody was saying “Black is beautiful, black is beautiful,” trying to convince themselves, it had never occurred to me that it wasn’t beautiful. It never occurred to me that this was something I now had to tell myself, because I always thought I was.

This also was the case for me. The only people in my life that made a personal, direct effort to make me feel “bad” about having a dark complexion were little Negro girls in grade school. Period. As I get older here in California, I find that I am not dark enough! It is physically crystal clear to me that a smooth, rich purple-black complexion represents Earth health and Earth wealth. The planetary ecosystem biologically selects for people rich in melanin content—and the fact that, at my age, I have to seriously consider using sun block depresses me! I could blame it on the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming but let’s start with me first