UNCG’s Green probes Oprah’s literary and cultural influences
Dr. Tara T. Green remembers what a big deal it was to watch Oprah Winfrey on TV as a young black girl.
“I’m an Oprah child,” says Green, associate professor of African American literature and gender studies at UNCG and director of the university’s African American Studies program. “I can remember coming home from school in my Catholic school uniform and watching Oprah because there was a black woman on TV in the afternoon. I would see her before I saw my mother, because she was still at work.”
Little did Green know then that she would grow up to study the pop culture icon and media mogul’s influence on shaping racial and cultural literacy the world over.
Green’s recently released book, “Presenting Oprah Winfrey, Her Films, and African American Literature,” is a collection of essays that examine the role Winfrey has played as an actress and producer of films that interpret works published by African American writers between 1937 and 1996. The first essay in the book is written by Green and provides a 21st century look at Sofia, the role played by Winfrey in “The Color Purple.”
Book contributors critically examine representations of African Americans and sexuality, blues, class, interracial and intraracial prejudices and their intersection with Winfrey’s influence as interpreter and mediator of African American literature and culture to diverse audiences.
Green is the author of “A Fatherless Child: Autobiographical Perspectives of African American Men,” which won the National Council for Black Studies Award in 2011 for Outstanding Publication. A graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans, she is currently completing a manuscript on New Orleans writer and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson. She is also is vice president of the Langston Hughes Society.
The book is available on Amazon.com and other popular online booksellers.