I’ve always known that I would meet Oprah one day. I would watch religiously everyday at 4pm, waiting for her brown eyes to lock with mine as a lay across my living room floor, chin in hands and feet kicking. Oprah was the first evidence that I could actually be on TV. She was a woman who looked more like me than many of the other women in TV. She was hope and everyday at 4pm, she increased my self-esteem and my hope that I would one day be just like her.
So when the chance to meet Oprah at a Selma press junket came about, I was more than excited and more than ready. I knew immediately that I’d be wearing the “Peace, Love & Oprah” T-shirt I’d gotten in October when I went to see her in Houston for The Life You Want Tour. I’m very cheap when it comes to buying clothes. I’m a clearance rack and thrift queen, so the $45 the T-shirt required gave me anxiety, but I knew the shirt would be worth it. And it was.
Oprah spotted the shirt as we all sat and listened to the movie’s director, Ava Duvernary explain how she masterfully makes one of the biggest legends of all times, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into a simple man, Oprah looked at me, pointed her finger to her own shirt, then to me, smiled and mouthed, “Love the shirt!” and then she gave me the thumbs-up. I grinned at her, giving her a thumbs-up right back and looking at my friends for confirmation. No one saw the exchange.
But then, the heavens shined down upon me and the moderator picked me to ask the last question. I had one for Ava and one for Oprah. I was about to ask Ava, and Oprah leans into her microphone and says, “I like your T-shirt.” And I smiled, everyone laughed. I said, “I knew you would girl, that’s why I did it!” Everyone laughed again. I called Oprah, “Girl” and I made everyone laugh. Later, Oprah called me T-shirt and allowed me to take a selfie with her. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life to be able to come full circle and connect with someone I’ve admired my entire life. I am so grateful for the gifts my life affords me. I know there’s more to come and even more encounters with Oprah!
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