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Oprah Winfrey–A Sponsor of Black Artistic Culture

[By Kenton Rambsy]
Oprah Winfrey’s role in expanding the readership of African
American literature and promoting the work of black novelists serves as a point
of entry for better understanding how well-known and lesser-known writers gain
exposure to commercial audiences.

Winfrey’s has featured novels writers such as Toni Morrison,
Ernest J. Gaines, and Edwidge Danticat as book-of-the-month selections. She
has served as an actress in movies adapted from African American novels such as
The Color Purple (1985), Native Son (1986), The Women of Brewster’s Place (1989), and Beloved (1998) . She has even been a major financial contributor to the
Broadway Musical version of The Color
Purple
as well as the made-for-TV film of Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Below, I have provided a recap of entries that focus on
Winfrey’s role as a sponsor for black writers. In addition, since often times Winfrey is associated with the dramatic adaptations and promotion of novels by Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, I have included entries about these writers as well.
Oprah Winfrey and African American Literature
Alice Walker and Toni Morrison