Will somebody please tell me where this year went? It’s such a blur of wonder and busyness, I had to go through my calendar to recall it all.... This time last year I was making my way through Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, speaking to thousands of Aussies every night and loving their rapturous welcome. Then Stedman and I started the new year romping and relaxing with friends in Fiji. And almost before we could say hello, Valentine, it was spring break for my 20 South African girls going to college in the States—many of whom are now ski buffs.

Skiing in Telluride, Colorado

My proudest moment this year? Watching six of my girls graduate from college.

Celebrating my "daughter-girls" as they graduate from college

Next-proudest: creating two new OWN series, Greenleaf and Queen Sugar, and having the audience respond with such passion.

On the set of one of my two favorite TV shows!

With the brilliant Ava DuVernay at the Queen Sugar premiere

My summer vacation was a vacation from myself, as I played the role of Deborah Lacks in the upcoming HBO film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I got to work with renowned director George C. Wolfe—a bucket list goal of mine. He is an actor’s director because he challenges you in every scene and with every breath to reach deeper.

At a table read with Kyanna Simone Simpson, who plays my character's younger self in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

But for me, the absolute pinnacle of the year was the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It is indeed, to quote civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis, “more than a building. It is a dream come true.”

So excited for the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture!

This I know for sure: Even if all your dreams were not realized this year, the chance to dream is a blessing in itself. And another year ahead means hope lives on.

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