Rising senior and current Miss Texas Southern University Mariah Campbell was featured in an exclusive live interview with media mogul and legendary journalist Oprah Winfrey on the Oprah Daily website and Facebook page.
The journalism major from Longview, Texas, was one of three young journalists chosen to sit down with Winfrey after her article on Juneteenth was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine as part of “Project Tell Me: Lift Every Voice.”
“It was really huge because Oprah is someone I have admired for so many years,” said Campbell. “To see her take this opportunity to reach back and help other journalists and highlight their experiences is one of the most memorable experiences for me.”
Like Winfrey, Campbell was equally impressed by the three women she interviewed for her story. They included Grammy award-winning singer and actress Dionne Warwick, Clarice Freeman, wife of legendary TSU Debate Team coach the late Dr. Thomas F. Freeman and Opal Lee, the 94-year-old activist from Texas who has campaigned for decades to make Juneteenth a U.S. holiday.
“As a Black journalist, to be able to share stories from our past from Black elders that are still in our community today is probably a moment that helped me to realized I can do something impactful,” said Campbell.
As a student in the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College on the campus of Texas Southern University, Campbell has a special connection to Freeman. She says she remembers talking with Dr. Freeman and how he raved about his wife as they spoke of life and purpose.
“Well, Mrs. Freeman is actually someone that I nominated. She was the first person I thought of for the project,” said Campbell. “For Ms. Warwick and Ms. Lee…WHEW! All of these women are powerhouses! They’ve all had success in different ways and their stories are beyond inspirational.
From each interview, Campbell says she learned life lessons she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Through the narrative of these legendary Black women, Campbell now understands the importance of mentoring and why it’s necessary to advocate for social change and that resilience is the key to success. She hopes others will take the aspirational messages from her articles and interviews and incorporate them into their lives.
“These women are more than entertainers, wives and activists. They are powerful and learning from their experiences is something that I’ll cherish forever.”
Campbell’s interview can be viewed by visiting the Oprah Daily website or the Oprah Daily Facebook page, or by checking it out right here.