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How Essence Influenced Oprah as a Young Girl

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For the past eight years, during the week leading up to the Academy Awards®, Essence gathers some of the best and brightest African-American entertainers together for its annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon.

This year's ceremony, which was hosted by Tracey Edmonds and Shemar Moore, celebrated seven stars of Orange Is the New Black, actress and director Regina King, breakout actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw and award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter.

During the luncheon, Oprah tells Tracey how Essence helped her become the woman she is today. "I was a young girl reading Essence magazine because that was the magazine that reflected me," Oprah says. "I could see brown-skinned women, women of color that reflected my ideals and that allowed me to aspire to something bigger and greater for myself."

Watch as Oprah shares the importance of finding that deeper spiritual calling.

The Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards airs Saturday, February 21, at 10/9c on OWN.

Visit Essence.com to preview the action and join the conversation

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