Winfrey opened the speech by remembering seeing Sydney Poitier become the first black man to win an Oscar in 1964 for “Lilies of the Field” as she was a little girl, sitting on her mother’s floor. “Up on the stage came the most elegant man I had ever seen,” she recalled. “I had never seen a black man recognized like that before. What a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats, as my mom came through the door, bone-tired from cleaning other peoples’ houses.”
“There are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this award,” she went on.
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