Friday, February 25, 2005 at 11:51 AM

Oprah Presents: The Greatest Love Story?

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Oprah embracing her Muse – Halle Berry

By any standard, Oprah Winfrey is a pretty remarkable woman. But – as a Black woman – her success and influence are unprecedented. Therefore, it behooves all black women to be mindful of her Oprah Show séances and consider how Oprah might help them “live their best lives”.

On 6 March, Oprah Winfrey presents Their Eyes Were Watching God – a made for television movie (starring Halle Berry) based on a 1937 novel by Harlem Renaissance writer, Zora Neal Hurston. It would be in bad form for me to reveal too much of this story but Oprah fans might like to know that she was quoted as saying that “this is the greatest love story ever told”.

High praise indeed – which constrains me to reveal just this much: the story is about a black woman’s unconventional and uninhibited quest for love in 1920s America. In fact, it mirrors Hurston’s personal explorations which included a retreat to the Caribbean where “[Zora] got her groove back”. (He was many years her junior and, as a Caribbean man, I can only say that we’ve always been friendly like that….)

What the story reveals about this black American woman’s emotional and sexual needs is provocative, to say the least. But what it implies about black American men’s inability to fulfill those needs is even more so.

Ultimately, however, I wonder how credible happily married women (or those who aspire to be) will find Oprah’s praise for this story. Especially given that she seems a committed spinster who prefers the company of her best friend, Gayle, to that of a devoted and loving husband.

Enough said!


  1. Anonymous February 25, 2005 at 3:13 pm

    typo error-Last name is Berry :)

  2. Anonymous February 26, 2005 at 3:04 am

    fyi Halle’s last name appears all over as both “Barry” and “Berry”

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