Oprah Winfrey on Importance of Honoring Black Fathers in New Special

Oprah Winfrey and Sterling K. Brown are celebrating Black fathers and the universal joy of fatherhood. Ahead of her new OWN special, Honoring Our Kings, Celebrating Black Fatherhood, the media mogul opened up to ET about why now is the perfect time to elevate the conversation.

“Why now? Because timing is always right, God is always on time,” Winfrey shared with ET’s Kevin Frazier. “I had this idea for several years. I wanted to elevate, lift up and show the other side of the narrative that we always hear about Black fathers not participating in their kids’ lives and Black fathers not being there.”

“I am the product of a Black father. Had my father not stepped in and taken responsibility for me, I certainly would not be sitting here talking to you, or have the life that I have,” she continued. “So I wanted the rest of the world to see that, to know that, to hear it, to feel it and to have Black fathers validated.”

Winfrey said that, as the idea came to fruition, she thought of Brown — who is the father of two sons — as the perfect co-host for the special.

“So I asked Sterling K. Brown, ‘Would you join me in honoring Black fathers?’ And he said, “Whoa, Oprah, I am so happy to do that,'” she recalled. “And I am telling you, he cried. I mean, he cried. He is such a wonderful, sensitive man.”

Winfrey explained that filming the special was particularly emotional for all involved, recalling, “Sterling cried three times, I cried four or five times just in the taping of the special… I felt so proud of these men!”

Winfrey also reflected on the power and symbolic importance of the special’s title, explaining, “In my life, my father has been my king. [This is true] in the lives of all of the people who know the value and the stability and the deep love and sense of direction you get when you have a father involved in your life.”

Apart from Brown, the special also features a number of other celebrity fathers, including John Legend, Kevin Hart, D.L. Hughley, Deon Cole and Dwyane Wade, among others.

“Dwyane Wade was so open and honest. I couldn’t believe how honest he was,” Winfrey said of the former NBA star, who is the father of four children. “He told us he had to go to therapy after he got home to actually learn to do it right. Because he was so used to being the center of attention, then coming home and now being not number one on the list, but being number five on the list in the house, sent the brother to therapy.”

Tune into Tuesday’s Entertainment Tonight to hear more from Winfrey about her inspiring special. Check here for local listings.

Honoring Our Kings, Celebrating Black Fatherhood premieres Tuesday, June 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on OWN. 

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