A meeting of the minds converged onto Washington, D.C. on June 7 for a day of powerhousing building for the inaugural E-3 Summit hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Empowerment, entrepreneurship, and engagement were the driving themes of this year’s conference including the highly anticipated opening of “Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture,” an exhibition that chronicles Oprah Winfrey’s groundbreaking personal and professional accomplishments.
The museum launched the exhibit alongside the E-3 Summit which served as a “host for a rich conversation about women to examine three E’s — Empowerment, Entrepreneurship, and Engagement.” Event-goers enjoyed a series of conversations and panels, followed by a keynote delivered by Oprah herself. Throughout the day, the E-3 Summit offered spaces to unite around the experiences of black womanhood.
Participants included founder/CEO of BLACK GIRLS ROCK! DJ Beverly Bond, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, founder of Urban One, Inc. Cathy Hughes, executive vice president of MGM Resorts International Phyllis James, NBC anchor and journalist Sheinelle Jones, vice president of Teach for America Brittany Packnett, Founder of Carol’s Daughter Lisa Price, and CNN Newsroom anchor Fredricka Whitfield.
The summit spoke to the experiences of black women in the workforce, in schools, in relationships, on screen, and in their spiritual lives. These themes were at the foundation of Winfrey’s keynote, where she shared anecdotes about her roots in the black church, her friendship with the late Maya Angelou, and snippets of wisdom that have come from her historic life and career.
“The reason so many of us can’t move forward is because we’re cramped in a space too small to hold our spirit,” Oprah explained, alongside Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” artfully interwoven throughout the entirety of her ninety minute address.
“This question is at the heart of black women’s experience,” she said. “It’s been difficult for us to be heard, but not anymore, because we have the National Museum of African American History. I’m here to tell you that its creation, its very existence, it being here screams ‘hear me, hear me now.'”
You can hear Oprah in this exclusive video of the address, and at the exhibit “Watching Oprah,” which opened Friday at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and will remain open through June 2019.
Editor: Candace Jones