Oprah Winfrey was nothing short of inspiring on Sunday night while receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. In fact, her monumental speech left the room in total and utter awe.
Winfrey, who in 1986 was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in The Colored Purple, approached the stage with her head held high as she inspired girls around the world that “a new day is on the horizon.”
Winfrey started off her speech by remembering the night Sidney Poitier became the first black man to take home an Academy Award for his role in Lillies of the Field. “His tie was white and of course his skin was black and I’ve never seen a black man being celebrated like that,” she said of the 1963 moment.
The media mogul then went on to explain that in 1982, it was Sidney who then became the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award. So today, Oprah explained, “at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this award.”
Oprah concluded her speech by tackling Times Up and inequality in the workplace. Speaking to women across the globe, Oprah suggested “what I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
“I am especially proud of all of the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories we tell and this year, we became the story,” she said.
And then, the true microphone drop occurred.
The 63-year-old told the story of Recy Taylor, a Black woman from Alabama who in 1944 was leaving church when she was kidnapped and gang raped by six white men — yet nothing was done. It wasn’t until 2011, when the Alabama House of Representatives apologized “for its failure to prosecute her attackers.”
Speaking of the six white men who got away with the rape of Recy, Winfrey told the audience, “But their time is up. And I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years and even now tormented, goes marching on.”
Taylor died ten days ago.
According to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the recipient of the high honor show “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.”
So yes, Winfrey is the perfect recipient.