How Oprah Winfrey's Network Is Inspiring Young Black And Brown Creatives

How Oprah Winfrey's Network Is Inspiring Young Black And Brown Creatives

OWN is producing some of today's most impressive work in scripted television.
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It's nice to tune in to a television station that is owned by a black woman. Not just any black woman, but one of the wealthiest people on the planet. Oprah Winfrey's network (OWN) produces a variety of shows that reveal the great depth of creative genius in the black and brown community. With productions ranging from comedies to mega church dramas, the OWN is inspiring young creatives of color nationwide.

Most of us know Tyler Perry as "Madea," or the black man who writes hilarious, but emotionally gravid plays in which he dresses as an old 80-year-old woman with a mean streak. Many of Perry's theater productions have been made it in to movies. And now, he has more to add to his portfolio with shows "The Haves and the Have Nots," "Love Thy Neighbor," "If Loving You Is Wrong," "For Better or Worse" which are all aired on OWN. What is particularly outstanding about Perry's productions is the predominantly black casts. The characters are developed to appear as average middle-class citizens who are tempted to act against their morals and values. The show takes viewers through their journey as relationships develop, crumble, and intertwine.

One of the network's newest shows, "Greenleaf," is written and produced by Craig Wright who is of Puerto Rican heritage. Wright also produced HBO's Six Feet Under, and ABC's Lost. But his work with OWN has proven to be more diverse; like Perry's productions, it showcases black people living in very "real life," tackling situations of conflict. "Greenleaf" is based on a family, which runs sprawling Memphis megachurch Calvary Fellowship World Ministries. Beneath the surface, though, exists scandalous secrets and lies. Greed, adultery and sibling rivalry are among the issues that threaten to test the family's faith and tear the group apart. The scandalous happenings are uncovered by Grace, the estranged daughter of church leader Bishop James Greenleaf, when she returns home after a 20-year absence.

Set to debut on Sept. 6, 2016, "Queen Sugar," is a series that follows the life of two sisters, Nova Bordelon and Charley Bordelon, who, with her teenage son Micah moves to the heart of Louisiana to claim an inheritance from her recently departed father — an 800-acre sugarcane farm. Ava DuVernay, director of "Selma," partners with Oprah Winfrey herself to create this, yet again another moving, impactful and entertaining television series.

Hollywood and mainstream media often excludes black actors and actresses from leading parts in shows and movies. There has certainly been an improvement with diversity in television over the past five years, however white creators and entertainers still dominate the industry. Even movies and characters that should be casted with people of color are given to white actors with tans and dark hair. Movies like Gods of Egypt, John Carter, and any thing about the Bible should arguably have black and brown leads. With emerging talent, I think the industry has a very bright future when it comes to creating variety of character types for people of color.

As a black creator, it is uplifting to see people of color writing, directing and producing work that is outside of the traditional, very stereotypical mold in which the mainstream portrays us. If we can see wealthy black families in well-crafted and directed television shows, we can also see them in movies. If our stories are told eloquently, our voices become relevant in other arenas. There is a surge of incredibly unique talent within the minority and their work will continue to receive the awards and accolades it deserves.

Cover Image Credit: If Loving You is Wrong

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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