Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.
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Oprah Winfrey speaks at SCAD graduation

Oprah Winfrey received an honorary degree at the 2018 SCAD Atlanta commencement Saturday in a surprise appearance. 

“I love SCAD because it is in alignment with the highest order that we’re all seeking,” Winfrey told the 2,600 graduates at Georgia World Congress Center during a five-minute speech after being introduced by SCAD president Paula Wallace. “We’re all seeking to be the truest, purest, highest expression of ourselves as human beings. And so, you’ve been able to do that here at this university, express yourself fully, artfully, collaboratively, with each other, with yourself.”

Winfrey explained that over many decades of doing her talk shows, she learned three things about what people desire after interviewing thousands of people, be it a sex abuser or the person who was abused or if it was Barack Obama or Beyonce. They’d ask her afterwards if they did okay. 

“In any discussion or fight or argument or disagreement, you can let people know that you were seen, you were heard and that you matter. It changes the conversation. It changes the connection. That’s the No. 1 thing I learned. Every one of us is looking for the same thing... Every one of us is seeking the highest truest expression of ourselves.” 

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Oprah Winfrey receives an honorary degree from SCAD founder and president Paula Wallace at the Georgia World Congress Center June 2, 2018. Photography Courtesy of SCAD (Colin Douglas Gray)

Her appearance certainly made up for the fact the commencement speaker, “The Walking Dead” and “Black Panther” star Danai Gurira, had to cancel at the last moment. Gurira didn’t explain in a statement to the university why she couldn’t make it but she is in the middle of shooting the ninth season of “The Walking Dead” and sometimes the show has to shoot on weekends if they fall behind schedule. (The weather has not been kind lately for shows like “The Walking Dead” which relies heavily on outdoor shots.)

RELATED: My interview with Oprah in 2016 before the launch of “Greenleaf.”

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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