The American Dream is the belief that anybody, no matter where you’re from, how you look, or the class you were born into can accomplish their own sort of success in a society where status-seeking is possible for everyone. Oprah Winfrey can be seen as a living example of the American Dream. She has overcome many obstacles, received awards, and has done a lot of community service.
First, Oprah overcame many obstacles throughout her life. Growing up in poverty, she had spent five to six years of her life living on her strict grandmother’s farm. She was beaten daily and had recalled a time when her grandmother punished her for putting her fingers in a bucket of water she had retrieved from the well. When her grandmother passed away and she had to move back in with her mother. Oprah was sexually abused by her nineteen-year-old cousin at age nine, which later resulted in her becoming pregnant. The baby died two weeks after it was born and she began to get herself into trouble by stealing. After being neglected and abandoned, Oprah’s claimed her father, “turned her life around.”
Second, Oprah always comes to mind when it comes to benevolence and giving back to others. She has donated millions of dollars to charities and organizations. Not only does Oprah donate to charities and organizations, but she also has her own philanthropic enterprise that she runs and financially contributes to. She founded the Oprah Winfrey Foundation in 2007, to give money towards the Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. She pays all the girls’ living expenses. Oprah spends at least a week on campus during visits and makes a point to have a fireside chat with each girl. Oprah teamed up with Kraft Heinz Company and in 2017 they debuted their new O, That’s Good! line which consists of four soups and four sides, designed to fight against hunger.
Third, Oprah Winfrey has acquired many accomplishments and received multiple awards throughout her life. She has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama and has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century. She pushed for change in the government, resulting in the National Child Protection Act. This act was purposed to establish a nationwide database of convictions on child abuse, sex offense charges, violent crimes, arson, and felony drug charges. She has also received many Emmy Awards, NAACP Image Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and even nominated for an Academy Award nomination. Oprah was inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame and also received an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard University.
Although she had an unstable home life growing up, that didn’t stop Oprah from striving to make a change in this world and set an example to others. Oprah truly sets as an example for young women all over the world. She has endured many hardships to get to where she is today. Even though Oprah had to go through hard times, she wouldn’t be where she is today or as strong as she is because of those times.
1.Estreet. “Overcoming Obstacles: What Oprah Winfrey Learned From Her Childhood of Abuse.” Learning Liftoff, 16 Feb. 2018, www.learningliftoff.com/overcoming-obstacles-what-oprah-winfrey-learned-from-her-abusive-childhood/.
2.“Oprah Winfrey’s Greatest Accomplishments.” Longevity, vocal.media/longevity/oprah-winfreys-greatest-accomplishments.
3.Woods, Laura. “Here Are All the Ways Oprah Winfrey Gives Back.” GOBankingRates, Toggle Navigation Back, 9 Sept. 2019, www.gobankingrates.com/net-worth/business-people/how-oprah-winfrey-gives-back/#5.