BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- As she became the first African American woman to accept the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey had one message for the world: tell your story, because you too can make a difference.
To a room of A-listers wearing black in a show of solidarity against the sexual misconduct reckoning that has rocked their industry, Winfrey expressed gratitude for those who left their mark on her when they spoke truth to authority, even if doing so put them at odds with society.
"What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have," an emotional Winfrey said, opening her remarks by recalling watching Sidney Poitier accept the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964.
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"I'd never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I've tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl watching from the cheap seats," she said.
She shared the tale of Recy Taylor, a young black woman who was kidnapped and gang-raped by six armed white men in Alabama in 1944. While her assailants were never brought to justice, Taylor's assault received significant attention and entered the national conversation surrounding the civil rights movement.
"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, goes marching on," Winfrey said.
But in 2018, Winfrey said she was "especially proud and inspired" by those who have shared their tales of sexual assault and harassment, galvanizing the country to action.
"We've lived in a culture brokered by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up," Winfrey said.
"A new day is on the horizon. When that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women...and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure they become the leaders who take us to the time nobody ever has to say 'me too' again," Winfrey finished to a standing ovation.
Oprah Winfrey: 'Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have'