The media mogul had an in-depth discussion about climbing the ladder in corporate America on her new show "The Oprah Conversation." Winfrey's first episode featured an interview with former NFL player Emmanuel Acho. The episode's title, "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man: Part 1" is based on the former linebacker's YouTube series and upcoming book of the same name.
Acho begins the episode with a statement to viewers, explaining that he believes in order for White people to understand systemic racism, it starts with having an understanding of the "full level of pain" Black citizens experience.
"I fervently believe that if the White person is your problem, only the White person can be your solution," Acho said on-camera via The Washington Times.
Acho went on to say that, in America specifically, White people "run America."
"CEOs, Fortune 500 companies, execs, ownership, they run America," he continued. "Not an individual person, but collective White people."
Winfrey echoed Acho's comments by stating that while there are White Americans who "are not as powerful" as the system of White people as a whole, they are still at an advantage.
"No matter where they are on the rung or the ladder of success, they still have their Whiteness," Winfrey said.
The television executive went on to define White privilege in her own terms.
"You still have your Whiteness," she added. "That's what the term 'White privilege' is. It means that Whiteness still gives you an advantage, no matter what,"
Winfrey's episode comes at a time when demands to end racial injustices are at an all-time high in America following the death of George Floyd. While the coronavirus has surely proved to be a blocker in terms of Winfrey's efforts to join Black Lives Matter protesters, her Apple TV+ series is just one of the ways she's lending her voice.
She is working with Lionsgate on a multimedia adaptation of The New York Times' “1619 Project” on the legacy of slavery. She interviewed Stacey Abrams and Ava DuVernay among others during a two-night special on her OWN network about racism and how to address it.
And on Tuesday, Winfrey announced she had chosen Isabel Wilkerson's exploration of race and hierarchy in the U.S. in her latest book club pick titled "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents."
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Winfrey said Wilkerson's book "could change the way we see each other, how we see our humanity and the structure of the world."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.