Smithsonian Exhibit Highlights Oprah Winfrey

The desk Oprah Winfrey sat behind during The Oprah Winfrey Show is shown displayed in front of 7 Emmy Awards at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Wednesday, June 6, 2018 in Washington as part of the "Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture,” exhibit on display through June 2019

“This is not a show for Oprah or by Oprah,” he said. “This is a show about other issues using the lens of Oprah.”

Among the first objects that visitors see is a yellowed pennant from the 1963 March on Washington, and the diploma of Carlotta Walls, one of the nine black students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.

“This exhibition is really an opportunity to explore the cultural impact of The Oprah Winfrey Show,” said exhibitions curator Kathleen Kendricks. “This is a chance to really put Oprah in this broader context of African-American history and culture and unpack her popularity and significance.”

On her walkthrough, Winfrey watched one of the exhibit’s televisions displays showing the Supremes singing and dancing on The Ed Sullivan Show. “It was the first time I realized you could be a beautiful black woman on television,” she said.

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