Oprah Winfrey has left a mark in the minds of many Americans through her critically acclaimed The Oprah Winfrey Show that transcended her into a media mogul.  Despite the praise that she received from The Oprah Winfrey show, she didn’t stop there.  She continued to push, and at this point, she has done it all.  From books to movies to building her own television network, Winfrey is an activist who exists besides the likes of Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells.

With everything that she has done, the time has come for us to take in her legacy, her story, accomplishments, etc at the latest museum exhibition at The National Museum of African American History in Washington, DC.  The museum is set to hold a three-part exhibition titled “Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture.” Exhibition curators, Rhea L. Combs and Kathleen Kendrick, broke down each part of the exhibition to The Washington Post.

The first section of “Watching Oprah” focuses on her early life and career and how the culture of the 1950s and 1960s shaped her outlook on the world. “She becomes someone at the forefront of dealing with ideas, of discussing hot-button topics like racism and sexual orientation,” Combs states.

The second section of the exhibition takes a dive into Winfrey’s staple, the highest-rated talk show in history, The Oprah Winfrey Show, with an emphasis on its evolution, guests, and subject matter such as race and equality. This part of the exhibition will include pieces directly from Winfrey’s Harpo Productions in Chicago, IL, where the show was filmed. Kendrick describes the significance, “she (Oprah) used television as a social medium, convening conversations and creating these interactive experiences with people.”

The third part of the of “Watching Oprah” brings attention to who Winfrey is a philanthropist and cultural influencer.

“Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture” comes at a time when officials expect a drop-in attendance at The National Museum of African American History. Though, the museum continues to have a strong turn out as they reach capacity on a regular. Within the first year of the museum’s opening, they have brought in around 3.8 million visitors, becoming one of the most popular attractions in DC.

Winfrey is the museum’s largest individual backer, donating $21 million, though the museum’s director, Lonnie G. Bunch III told The Washington Post that her installation and donation have no correlation. “We made sure there was a bright line, that this was done by the museum and museum scholars. The fundraising was not through Oprah’s people,” he says.

“Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture.” will take place starting this Friday, June 8, 2018, and run through June 2019.

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