Commit. This word acted as the theme for Oprah Winfrey’s Your Life In Focus: A Vision Forward virtual grand finale on Saturday, June 13. The beloved leader weaved a vital message during the Weight Watchers event, which aimed to inspire viewers to reclaim their wellness journey in the face of unprecedented times. She opened with moving words on the Black Lives Matter movement, asking people to “commit” to not only helping themselves heal, but their community as a whole. For Oprah, it all starts with education, so she offered up three essential books to read as soon as possible.
“First of all, it begins with educating yourself on what you don’t know,” Oprah said. “What you did not learn, what was not taught.” She then recommended “two good books right now, both of them bestsellers”: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi and White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. “Those are two good places to start.” she quipped.
The third book is what she calls a “must-read for everybody who wants to be educated” going forward. “I’m reading a book right now that’s not even in the bookstore. It’s coming soon - you can preorder it right now,” she said. “It is the definitive, end all be all, say all, about what’s happening right now. The book is called Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Pulitzer prize-winner Isabel Wilkerson.”
The book, which will be released in August, examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and depicts how life today is still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. “It will change the way you see what is systemic in our country,” Oprah added.
15 social change and advocacy organizations you can support right now to help make a difference
“Once you start to understand, you no longer have to be defensive,” she continued. “You no longer have to pretend that everybody is the same, because you can see for yourself. That’s what this is all about. I think this time is an opportunity for a great awakening for us all.” Concluding her opening remarks, she said: “The question becomes: will we accept this moment? We’re clearly at a precipice - it could go either way.”
The stirring finale of Oprah’s four-part series rode the tail of her Where Do We Go From Here? television special. The icon engaged a whopping 17 million viewers this past week with the two-night event, which dealt with the killing of George Floyd, systemic racism and the inequalities within America’s justice system. “I’ve been talking about racism on TV now for over 35 years, but I don’t recall a moment quite like this one,” she commented on social media.