During this evening, Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for all her achievements. A very poignant speech followed.
Oprah began by talking about Sidney Poitier who won the Best Actor Oscar in 1964. He became the first black man to win an Oscar. He also received the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1982.
“In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B DeMille award right here at the Golden Globes and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.
“It is an honor – it is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and also with the incredible men and women who have inspired me, who challenged me, who sustained me and made my journey to this stage possible.
“I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. We know the press is under siege these days. We also know it’s the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice.
She also spoke about sexual abuse. She explained that the issue “transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace.
She added: “So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue.
“They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.”
Finally, Oprah referred to Recy Taylor, a black woman who was abducted in Alabama in 1944 and raped by six men. Rosa Parks has investigated this case but has never been able to bring the abusers to justice. Rosa Parks was an exceptional black woman who made history by refusing to leave her place on a bus to a white man. She then contributed to the Civil Rights Movement and the fight against racial segregation in the United States.
Oprah finished her speech like this: “Recy Taylor died 10 days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday,” Winfrey said. “She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.
“So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!
“And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘me too’ again.”
The audience stood up and gave her a standing ovation.