The best way to learn about American culture and American people in the late 20th century is to watch old episodes of Oprah, Donahue, Sally, Ricki Lake, Geraldo, etc.  Daytime syndicated talk shows of this era dealt with whatever issue was facing the country and were completely democratic in how they took questions from regular people who walked in off the street or phoned in live from their living rooms.

Oprah was arguably the first black that millions of white Americans could relate to as a human being, and as such she served as a cultural translator, making the black experience accessible to millions of whites.  As Roger Ebert said, “she was our first black President.”

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