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Oprah Winfrey accepts Cecil B. DeMille Award with moving and powerful message

by Ree Hines / / Source: TODAY

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When Oprah Winfrey took the stage at the 75th Golden Globes to speak after receiving the coveted Cecil B. DeMille Award, she delivered a moving and powerful message to the audience.

Because ... of course she did. She's Oprah.

"I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon," said Winfrey, who was honored for her outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. "And 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 that they become the leaders that take us to the time when nobody has to say 'me too' again."

Winfrey recalled watching Sidney Poitier become the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964.

"I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that," she said. "In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille Award right here at the Golden Globes. And it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given the same award."

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey accepts the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018.NBC via Getty Images

Her topics ranged from empowerment to protection to "speaking your truth." It was just Oprah being Oprah — making history and helping to pave the way for a better future.

"What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have," she said. "And I'm especially proud of and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room is celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story."

She continued, "But it's not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It's one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace. So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue."

Oprah Winfrey speaks after accepting the Cecil B. Demille Award
Reuters

Winfrey's friend and "Wrinkle in Time" co-star, Reese Witherspoon, had a moving message of her own when she introduced the former talk-show titan.

"There are a lot of people known on a first-name basis, but there's only one person whose name is a verb, an adjective and a feeling, and that is Oprah," the actress said.

As Oprah Winfrey is honored with the Cecil B. Demille award, we take a look back at her evolution through the years.

Witherspoon knows the "Oprah feeling" well after spending four hours a day in the makeup chair alongside her while they worked on their recent film — time Witherspoon described as "going to Wharton Business School combined with a spiritual retreat, all in one."

"Oprah's hugs could end wars, solve world peace," she said without a hint of exaggeration. "It's like your oldest, dearest friend has just seen you after the longest journey of your life. It's that good. When she hugs you, it's the greatest thing ever."

When Witherspoon asked her peers about the icon, they asked her to "tell her 'thank you for teaching us, for inspiring us, for encouraging us. Thank you for seeing us.'"

And with Winfrey's speech, she gave everyone watching even more reasons to thank her.

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