Belfast Telegraph

Winfrey talks protest ‘wake-up call’

Oprah Winfrey believes Americans are now paying attention to rampant injustice.

The 60-year-old media mogul served as a producer on Selma, a film about Martin Luther King Jr’s experiences orchestrating civil rights marches in Alabama, the heart of America’s Deep South.

Recently protesters across America have taken to the streets dissenting over the lack of indictments in cases like that of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, in which police officers killed these black men without facing prosecution.

And Oprah is convinced the protesters represent a great awakening of sorts.

"I think everything is a wake-up call if you're paying attention,” she told USA Today. “Everything is happening all the time to get our attention. And when you don't listen the first time, it becomes more and more forceful. So if you didn't listen to Ferguson, then along comes Eric Garner."

Selma is set to be released in US theatres on January 9.

Oprah believes the film will offer young protesters lots of value in their pursuits for justice.

"It's the same thing that James Reeb [a white Unitarian minister who came from Massachusetts to join the 1965 protest and was killed two days later] says in the movie: 'I came because I saw injustice. And I thought it was wrong.' The same reason he came to Selma is the same reason black people and white people all over the country are marching now. They understand that adage of Dr. King is really true: That injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And that's why people are marching in the streets,” Oprah explained.

"What [Selma] offers is an opportunity for people, particularly young people, to see that the marches were built out of a strategy and an intention. And that the leadership required to develop strategy and intention is necessary when you really want to make true progress. And there is power in peace."

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