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A year and a half after her 50th birthday party, Oprah decided to spread the life-affirming spirit with her Legends Ball.

For three days, invitees celebrated the lives and accomplishments of 25 remarkable African-American women—including authors, artists, actors and activists—who paved the way for generations of "young'uns" that have followed. "We are where we are because of these women. Because of the work that they have given," Oprah said that weekend. "I'm grateful to God that our legends are here and that you all are here to help me honor them."

To help honor the legends, the "young'uns" recited a poem by author Pearl Cleage, called We Speak Your Names.

Read an excerpt of the moving poem.
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FROM: The Age of Miracles: The New Midlife
Published on March 14, 2008

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