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Winfrey said the school's success was down to teachers who came

early and stayed late, to social workers, such as one who travelled

hundreds of miles to rescue a student who had encountered violence

during a visit home, and to families who instilled discipline

in the children despite difficult home lives.

 

 

First students graduate from Winfrey's South African school

By Donna Bryson

 

5 January 2012

Oprah Winfrey said the first students to graduate from her academy for underprivileged South African girls were "free to soar", during a graduation speech yesterday. Winfrey, one of the world's wealthiest women, spent $40m (£26m) to build the school.

When the school opened five years ago, 11- and 12-year-old girls arrived who had never used a computer before and had gone to primary schools that lacked enough desks and chairs for all the students. Many were raised by grandmothers or older siblings after losing parents to Aids, cancer or crime.

Yesterday, they were young women dressed elegantly in white on stage with Winfrey, heading to university to study medicine, law, engineering and economics. Seventy-two of the 75 original members graduated at yesterday's ceremony. All are going to universities in South Africa or the United States.

Winfrey said the school's success was down to teachers who came early and stayed late, to social workers, such as one who travelled hundreds of miles to rescue a student who had encountered violence during a visit home, and to families who instilled discipline in the children despite difficult home lives.

She said there were times when she was discouraged by problems encountered at the school. Soon after it opened, a dormitory matron was accused of abusing students. She was acquitted in 2010. Winfrey, who has spoken of being abused as a child, called the allegations against the matron "crushing". Then last year, a baby born to a student at the school was found dead.

Throughout the crises, Winfrey told reporters on Saturday, "I always held the vision that this day was possible." She said that her girls would continue to be able to rely on her support. A counselling unit had been set up to help all the graduates at university.—Independent.

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The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls - South Africa is a girls-only boarding school that officially opened in January 2007 in Henley on Klip near Meyerton, south of Johannesburg, South Africa: Inspired by her own "humble beginnings" and disadvantaged background, Oprah Winfrey stated that she founded the Leadership Academy to provide educational and leadership opportunities for academically gifted girls from impoverished backgrounds in South Africa who exhibited leadership qualities for making a difference in the world. The current headmistress is Mrs Anne Van Zyl who has been at the academy since 2010 and has had a history as a pioneer and agent of change in girls education. . . .

In spite of the criticism, Winfrey's offered that her vision for the Leadership Academy was to provide a vehicle for mentoring academically talented and disadvantaged girls with "that 'It' quality" to provide them with opportunities to "change the face of a nation," make a difference in the world and to become future leaders of South Africa. As for rationale of the lavishness of the school, Winfrey continued by saying that "[i]f you are surrounded by beautiful things and wonderful teachers who inspire you, that beauty brings out the beauty in you." To change how women are viewed, Winfrey added during an interview, one must look for an opportunity "'to change the paradigm, to change the way not only these girls think ... but to also change the way a culture feels about what women can do.' 'Girls who are educated are less likely to get HIV/AIDS and in this country which has such a pandemic, we have to begin to change the pandemic.'"—Wikipedia

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Building a Dream: The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy / Oprah Visits South Africa School

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Tribute

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It isn’t clear how many youngsters expressed an insufficiently ardent desire for education, but apparently the numbers were

large enough to send Ms. Winfrey in search of more grateful subjects. Her charity did not come without complications, however.

The South African government was so under whelmed by the whole idea that they withdrew support for the project.

The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy

 

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Oprah and Bad Samaritans

By Margaret Kimberley

Is it possible to complain about good deeds? A New York City construction worker, Wesley Autrey, is now world famous because he risked his life to save a stranger. The act was reckless but Autrey is alive, and so is the man he saved from an oncoming subway car. It does seem unkind to criticize.

While Autrey received accolades and/or money from David Letterman, Mayor Bloomberg, Disney World and Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey was winning kudos on the other side of the world. She opened a boarding school, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, in South Africa. It might have been dubbed Good Samaritan Week.

South Africa is definitely in need of help. That nation is still victimized by the apartheid that officially ended nearly 20 years ago. Apartheid was sustained by violence and in its aftermath the country is still racked by one of the highest rates of violence of any nation on earth. That evil system would not have existed if wealth were not concentrated in the hands of the white minority. A change in government didn’t inspire that minority to hand over cash to the millions whose labor they profited from. They still have the money and black South Africans still have poverty. The nation also suffers from the world’s highest rates of HIV infection.

Oprah’s school cost $40 million and will accept 150 girls, all hand picked by Ms. Winfrey. The recipients of her largesse are surely not complaining, but what is the justification for spending $40 million to educate so few people in a country that needs so much?

The school is a 22 acre, 28-building complex that features a yoga studio, beauty salon and sheets with a 200-thread count. Each girl gets a large closet for her small wardrobe and will eat food on the best china plates. Ms. Winfrey has determined that education can only take place in the lap of luxury.

When asked why she had to travel so far away to help the down trodden, she said that too few black American kids care about education.

"I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn't there. If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don't ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school."

Imagine that. Teens think about getting the latest cool gadget. It isn’t a crime and it isn’t proof that they wouldn’t want better schools and educational opportunities. Oprah’s actions are also more than a little contradictory. Why criticize African American kids for wanting fun but unnecessary items and then insist that South African kids have even greater extravagance?

Oprah is right that primary and secondary education is free in America, but higher education certainly isn’t. Tuitions at public universities, once the guarantors of education for all, are skyrocketing. Most Americans now graduate from college with crushing loads of debt. Of course she can spend her money however she chooses, but Oprah might want to seek out the non-Ipod happy American kids who are struggling to get a college education.

It isn’t clear how many youngsters expressed an insufficiently ardent desire for education, but apparently the numbers were large enough to send Ms. Winfrey in search of more grateful subjects. Her charity did not come without complications, however. The South African government was so under whelmed by the whole idea that they withdrew support for the project. As one official put it, "The country is very obviously poor, and so few children have a chance at education. It is hard not to see that many feel that what Ms. Winfrey is doing is too much."  

Oprah Winfrey achieved great career success after graduating from Tennessee State, a historically black college in Nashville. Oprah probably lived in an ordinary dormitory room and had a roommate or two. She managed to do just fine although she lived without the trappings of needless excess during her college years. It is unclear why she thinks that South Africans can’t do the same thing.

Every human being needs recognition, but that recognition can often do great damage. Wesley Autrey may be in some danger himself. Rescuers dubbed heroes tend to have a hard time when their fifteen minutes of fame end. The Oklahoma City bombing, September 11th attacks, and coal mine disasters have all ended with the suicides of people who performed heroic deeds and received too much press attention afterwards. Autrey hinted at some of the problems he may face. "It's all hitting me now. I'm looking, and these trains are coming in now. . . . Wow, you did something pretty stupid."

Oprah’s fame will probably go on forever and hopefully her philanthropy will too. In the future perhaps it will be less extravagant and less dependent on Oprah’s personal judgments. Maybe South African girls can get an education without sleeping on the best, most luxurious sheets. After all it is the deed that matters, not recognition for the hero.

Source: Black Agenda Report

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Other Reports

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – At the end of each school year, when she says goodbye and wishes her students success in high school, Martha Mohulo can't help but worry. A veteran primary school teacher in Soweto, she knows the dangers lurking in this sprawling, struggling township - perils such as violence, AIDS, and teenage pregnancy.

So when Oprah Winfrey picked eight of Ms. Mahulo's students to attend her lavish new girls' academy south of Johannesburg, the teacher was thrilled. Those girls who went to Oprah, they are going to be safe," Mohulo says. "They are much better off."

. . . . The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, set on 52 manicured acres in the village of Henley-on-Klip, has state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, a 600-seat theater, a library, beauty salon, yoga studio, and Oprah-decorated dorm rooms. This year, 152 seventh and eighth graders will attend the school; next year, Winfrey says, it will hold 450 students in Grades 7 to 12.

Some education advocates have criticized Winfrey's academy as a "vanity project," and say her $40 million could have been more widely and smartly distributed, while others say that she's managed to raise more popular attention than has any NGO. . . .

Source: Stephanie Hanes, "Oprah's academy: Why educating girls pays off more. The Christian Science Monitor. January 2007.

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Educator Jane E. Smith knows firsthand how inspiring an all-female academic environment can be for young women. . . .

Smith is confident that the 150 students chosen to attend the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Henley-on-Klip, just south of Johannesburg, are now in a position to excel not simply because of Winfrey’s celebrity or financial backing. The young women will now be able to receive a quality education that could help them overcome the gang violence, drugs and rising rate of teenage pregnancy that plagues many state-funded schools.

According to the Associated Press, Winfrey said that she decided to build her own school because she wanted to feel closer to the people she was trying to help. The $40 million academy aims to give 152 girls from deprived backgrounds a quality education in a country where schools are struggling to overcome the legacy of apartheid.

“What this is going to do is start a global awareness of the need for different strategies for the education of boys and girls,” Smith said. “This really will allow for a global discussion of what’s going on and how we, as a culture, can value education.”

Source: Monica Lewis, "Oprah’s Academy Inspires Hope, Memories for Black Attendees of All-Girls’ Institutions." Black America Web. January 03, 2007.

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JOHANNESBURG -- Tina Turner, Chris Rock, Sydney Poitier, Mariah Carey and Mary J Blige were all present at Oprah Winfrey's Hollywood-style opening of her leadership academy in Henley-on-Klip, Meyerton, on Tuesday.

The event officially opening the academy, set to house and educate girls from disadvantaged communities, teemed with local and international celebrities including Nobel laureates, ambassadors, musicians, actors and media personalities.

Nobel laureate, Kenyan born Wangami Matai, former US ambassador to South Africa Dr Andrew Young, Quincy Jones, Babyface, Holly Robinson Pete, Kimberly Elise, who acted alongside Winfrey in the film 'Beloved,' all appeared stylishly clad at the glitzy event.

Local businessman Tokyo Sexwale was also present and Nelson Mandela is expected to attend although he had not yet arrived by midday.

Source: Denise Williams, "Star-studded bash at Oprah Academy. I Africa

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Mandela was among the guests at the opening of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in the small town of Henley-on-Klip, south of Johannesburg.

'This is a lady that has, despite her own disadvantaged background, become one of the benefactors of the disadvantaged throughout the world,' Mandela said in a statement. . . .

The $40 million academy aims to give 152 girls from deprived backgrounds a quality education in a country where schools are struggling to overcome the legacy of apartheid. By educating girls, Winfrey said she hoped she could help 'change the face of a nation.' . . .

She vowed to make the academy the 'best school in the world' and promised that she would continue to support the girls so they could attend any university in the world.

The idea for the school was born in 2000 at a meeting between Winfrey and Mandela. She said she decided to build the academy in South Africa rather than the United States out of love and respect for Mandela and because of her own African roots.She said she planned a second school for boys and girls in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Many state-funded schools, especially in the sprawling townships that sprang up under white racist rule, are hopelessly overcrowded and lack even basic necessities such as books. They also are plagued by gang violence, drugs and a high rate of pregnancy among school girls.

Top-class study and sporting facilities are available, but are largely confined to private schools that are still dominated by the white minority as they are too expensive for many black and mixed race South Africans.

Winfrey's academy received 3,500 applications from across the country. A total of 152 girls ages 11 and 12 were accepted.

To qualify, they had to show both academic and leadership potential and have a household income of no more than $787 a month. Eventually the academy will accommodate 450 girls.

The 28-building campus boasts computer and science laboratories, a library and theater along with a wellness center. Winfrey rejected suggestions that her school was elitist and unnecessarily luxurious.

'If you are surrounded by beautiful things and wonderful teachers who inspire you, that beauty brings out the beauty in you,' she said. Lesego Tlhabanyane, 13, proudly wore her new green and white uniform at the ceremony to raise the South African flag.

'I would have had a completely different life is this hadn't happened to me. Now I get a life where I get to be treated like a movie star,' she said. Winfrey, who does not have children, said she was building a home for herself on the campus to spend time with the girls and be involved in their education. 'I love these girls with every part of my being. I didn't know you could feel this way about other people's children,' she said.

Source: Celean Jacobson, "Oprah Winfrey Opens School in S. Africa ." Topix.Net. January 02, 2007

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"The school is going to change the trajectory of their lives," she said. . . .  She said she decided to build the academy in South Africa rather than the United States out of love and respect for Mandela and because of her own African roots. Elitist? Built on 52 acres, the 28-building campus, which was originally to cost $10 million, and not the actual $40 million, boasts modern classrooms, computer and science laboratories, a library, theatre and health centre.

Each girl has a two-bedroom suite, but Winfrey rejected suggestions that her school was elitist and unnecessarily luxurious. . . . The result was a far cry from the state-funded schools, plagued by gang violence, drugs and a high rate of pregnancy among school girls. Despite government efforts to improve the school system, the education department said last week that two-thirds of the 1.6 million children who started school 12 years ago has dropped out. Only five per cent of the total intake did well enough in their studies to be eligible to go to university. "I went to their homes. I met their teachers and their parents. I know all of them by name," Winfrey said.

Source: "Oprah's girls academy opens in SA ." English.al Jazeera

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Oprah Winfrey was already the planet's most watched talkshow host, one of America's most successful magazine publishers, a billionaire, an Oscar-nominated actor, the most important black philanthropist in the US and, according to several assessments, the most influential woman in the world. . . .

But that was not how it felt for Buhle Zulu, 12, who found herself whisked from sleeping on a floor with six family members in Soweto to her own bedroom and bathroom in the site, funded with $40m (£20m) of Winfrey's $1.5bn fortune. . . .

[T]he students, who were selected from 3,500 applicants. To qualify for a place, the girls had to show academic and leadership potential and have a household income of less than £400 a month. . . .

Mr Mandela, the 88-year-old former South African president, was helped to the stage by Winfrey. "The key to any country's future is in educating its youth," he told the audience. "Oprah is therefore not only investing in a few young individuals but in the future of our country. We are indebted to her for her selfless efforts. This is a lady that, despite her own disadvantaged background, has become one of the benefactors of the disadvantaged throughout the world and we should congratulate her for that."

Fikile Koetle, who came to peek at the ceremonies from outside the main gate, was enthusiastic about the new school in his neighbourhood. "This is a brilliant idea and the greatest gift anyone could give to South Africa," he said. "These girls will grow to be our doctors, lawyers, cabinet ministers. Even one will become our own Oprah, on television."

Winfrey said the number of pupils at the academy would increase to 450 in the next four years. She is planning another secondary school for boys and girls in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province. . . .

The academy is a dramatic contrast to most South African schools, which are dilapidated and overcrowded as they struggle to overcome the neglect of apartheid. South Africa's matriculation exam pass rate has dropped for the third consecutive year, according to government figures released last week. There had been high hopes for this year's class, which started school when apartheid ended in 1994, and were called "Madiba's children" after Mr Mandela's clan name.

But two-thirds of the 1.6 million who started school 12 years ago dropped out before their exams. Just 5% of the original class did well enough to be eligible to attend university.

Source: Andrew Meldrum, "Oprah's $40m school for South African girls ." Guardian. January 3, 2007.
 

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JOHANNESBURG -- Winfrey has handpicked the first batch of 152 disadvantaged girls — aged 11 and 12 — who will complete Grades 7 and 8 at the academy. She plans to eventually increase enrolment to 450. . . .

"Oprah has... shown us what commitment means. We salute you as a friend and a role-model," Mandela said after slowly making his way to the podium helped by Winfrey and his personal assistant Zelda la Grange. . . . Dismissing criticism of the school as "ridiculous", Education Minister Naledi Pandor said any intervention which enhanced the possibility of young people achieving their dreams was a welcome opportunity.

Gauteng education MEC Angie Motshekga pledged her department's support, even though the school would be independently run. Interim principal Joan Countryman — who came out of retirement to take up the post — said the South African curriculum would be followed, initially using English, Zulu and Sesotho, but later trying to incorporate all 11 official languages. 'I love these girls'

"I love these girls with every part of my being," Oprah told the first group of pupils, dressed in their uniform of green and gold skirts, white shirts and green blazers. They "completed" her, she said. She would have a home on the campus and would help develop the curriculum. . . . The academy consists of 28 buildings on 21 hectares of land. Winfrey is to open a co-ed school for 1000 pupils in KwaZulu-Natal by the end of the month.

Celebrities at the opening included Tina Turner, Chris Rock, Sydney Poitier, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, Nobel laureate Wangami Matai, former United States ambassador to South Africa Andrew Young, Quincy Jones, Babyface, Holly Robinson Pete, Kimberly Elise who acted alongside Winfrey in the film "Beloved", and businessman Tokyo Sexwale.

Source: "HIV tests for Oprah's girls." I Africa Wed, 03 Jan 2007.

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Winfrey, who is called "Mam Oprah" by the girls, said she came with a celebrity posse for a reason. "These people have the power to do things. They have voices which can be heard in the U.S. and across the world," said the talk show superstar, who built an empire by following her own passions for self-improvement, helping others, promoting literacy and the arts. . . .

The girls sat attentively on stage in green-and-white uniforms as the poignant stories of some were told in a documentary shown to guests. A few students greeted guests and media with Winfrey, clutching at her long pink dress and holding her hand.

Maphefo Leputu, 12, of Soweto, who used to share a bed with her cousins, said she was overwhelmed at the prospect of her own room and bathroom - and the chance to one day become a lawyer.


Gene Sperling, director of the Center for Universal Education at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the world has only recently begun to understand the breadth of the positive impact of education on problems as diverse as infant and maternal mortality and the contraction of deadly diseases. Previously, he said, experts had only linked education with rising incomes.

"There's never a CNN camera showing a child dying from lack of education, but children die from lack of education every day," Sperling said. Many of the girls at Winfrey's school come from families affected by AIDS, which has infected 5.4 million of South Africa's 48 million population and hit women disproportionately hard. . . .

Some South Africans called the school elitist and a waste of money which could have been used to educate more children. But others applauded Winfrey.  "Any initiative which ... enhances the quality of education and which enhances the possibility of a young person realizing their dream to do better is a welcome opportunity," Education Minister Naledi Pandor said. Princeton Lyman, a former U.S. ambassador to South Africa and currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said there had to be investment in education both in the way Winfrey is tackling the issue, and in ways that help the broader population.

"You make leaders by treating them as elite," said Ken Walker, the Africa press officer in Johannesburg for the aid group CARE, pointing out that a private individual has different responsibilities from those of a government. . . . Despite government efforts to improve the school system, the education department said last week that two-thirds of the 1,667,000 South African children who started school 12 years ago dropped out, and only 5 percent did well enough to be eligible to go to a university. . . .

Winfrey selected the 11- to 12-year-old girls for the school from 3,500 applications across the country. To qualify, they had to show both academic and leadership potential and have a household income of no more than 5,000 rands ($787) a month. . . .

Source: "Star-Studded Opening For Oprah's School." CBS News.

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Oprah Winfrey opened her school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa yesterday with a tearjerking ribbon-cutting ceremony that capped a five-day, star-studded celebration with 200 of her celebrity pals.

"I wanted to give this opportunity to girls who had a light so bright that not even poverty could dim that light," Winfrey told reporters yesterday. . . .  "We had an opportunity to meet some of the girls in the school and they are amazing. Each girl was confident, articulate, poised and had a burning desire to learn," the insider told the News.  "These girls were not interested in video games, slutty clothes or using foul language. They were serious about education." . . . . In the five days before the opening, Winfrey hosted celebrations that included a black-tie ball, a safari, an afternoon tea and a campus tour.

Attendees included Winfrey's longtime boyfriend, Stedman Graham; best friend Gayle King, and a host of stars who included Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones, Tina Turner, Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Tyler Perry, Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Diane Sawyer, Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds, Star Jones Reynolds, India.Arie and Holly Robinson Peete.

The week before Christmas, each guest received an elaborate invitation and itinerary. The guests paid their own way to South Africa, but once there, Winfrey rolled out the red carpet and picked up the tab for the more than 200 invitees. Guests began checking into the five-star Palace Hotel in Sun City last Friday. They received a goody bag filled with a book written by Winfrey about the school, a pen, a program and African souvenirs, a source said. After a welcome party on Friday, khaki-clad guests were treated to a safari Saturday. Later, they were escorted to tents housing a cigar bar, drinks bar, buffet and barbecue pit.

On New Year's Eve, Winfrey hosted a black-tie party featuring performances by Edmonds and Blige, who belted out "No More Drama," the source said. Guests feasted on lobster dishes, stuffed guinea fowl and a smorgasbord of delicacies.

Source: Chrisena Coleman, "Oprah's schooled Winfrey opens S. Africa girls academy after 5 days of celeb-filled festivities. .NY Daily News.

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Oprah’s philosophy for the school may be surprising. She says to Newsweek magazine that she “became frustrated with the fact that all (she) did was write check after check to this or that charity without really feeling like it was a part of (her). At a certain point, you want to feel that connection." . . . . She even took the time to choose the china, the school uniforms, and dorm room sheets. . . .

The curriculum includes typical topics like math, languages, arts and culture, social science. “The Academy’s curriculum expands to include a theme of leadership and leadership development across all courses and activities. Additionally, the curriculum focuses on technology and e-learning.”

Source:  "Oprah's Academy for Girls ."Mal ala Tete.  January 3, 2007

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Surrounded by American celebrities, Winfrey, listed as the richest black person on the planet, presided over the opening of a school for disadvantaged girls just outside Johannesburg, South Africa, built with $40m (£20m) of her own money and set to begin classes on Friday.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy will only be a small drop in the ocean of educational challenges in South Africa, where state schools are bursting and private schools are still largely white. For now it will accommodate just 152 girls, aged between 11 and 13, handpicked byWinfrey, on a 22-acre site at Henley-on-Klip, south of Johannesburg. Eventually it will have room for 450 girls.

The ebullient Winfrey was not in modest mood as she described the significance of the school, for her as much as for the students. . . .

Responding to criticism that the school, complete with its own beauty salon, yoga studio and indoor and outdoor theatres, is too luxurious and elitist - she also picked the pleated-skirt uniforms and canteen china - she responded: "These girls deserve to be surrounded by beauty, and beauty does inspire."

Source: David Usborne, "Oprah's £20m school proves she's not all talk." Independent. 03 January 2007

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"It is my hope that this school will become the dream of every South African girl and they will study hard and qualify for the school one day," he said in a firm voice. Mandela thanked Winfrey for the "personal time and effort" she devoted to the school. . . . "I was a poor girl who grew up with my grandmother, like so many of these girls, with no water and electricity," said the talk-show host, dressed in a pink ball gown and jacket. . . .

Many state-funded schools, especially in the sprawling townships that sprang up under white racist rule, are hopelessly overcrowded and lack even basic necessities such as books. They also are plagued by gang violence, drugs and a high rate of pregnancy among schoolgirls.

Top-class study and sports facilities are available but are largely confined to private schools that are still dominated by the white minority, since they are too expensive for many black and mixed race South Africans. Winfrey's academy received 3,500 applications from across the country. A total of 152 girls ages 11 and 12 were accepted.

Source: Celean Jacobson, "Oprah's $40-million academy opens for girls. South Africa. Talk-show queen fulfills promise to Mandela." Canada. January 03, 2007.

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Christian Missionaries in Phokeng

Excerpts from The Autobiography of an Unknown South African

By Naboth Mokgatle

Doctors Naboth Mokgatle, The Autobiography of an Unknown South African 

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John Coltrane, "Alabama"  /  Kalamu ya Salaam, "Alabama"  / A Love Supreme

A Blues for the Birmingham Four  /  Eulogy for the Young Victims   / Six Dead After Church Bombing 

Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
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#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

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#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today.

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Debt: The First 5,000 Years

By David Graeber

Before there was money, there was debt. Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.  Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong.

We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it. Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history—as well as how it has defined human history, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy.   Economist Glenn Loury  /Criminalizing a Race

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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