Oprah Winfrey continues to make an impactful mark on our social and cultural consciousness with moving stories that speak to the heart and soul. The “Queen of the Aha Moment” is admired throughout the globe for her unabashed advocacy of spiritual fulfillment and self-discovery.
She has cultivated a rich foundation for a wide array of compelling projects to flourish and has utilized her platform to amplify the transformative stories of diverse communities. To this end, she has collaborated with prolific creator Ava DuVernay on the American drama series, “Queen Sugar,” broadcasted on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Based on the novel by Natalie Baszile, “Queen Sugar” has received praise for its lyrical storytelling and thoughtful depictions of Black life in the rural South. Celebrated in the industry for its groundbreaking production, the series won two NAACP Image Awards—Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series—and received seven nominations in various categories. It also made headlines for having an all-female directorial lineup as well as an exceptionally inclusive crew. The show boldly navigates uncharted waters by provoking questions about social, political and economic inequities, and highlighting the pressing need to confront deep seated racism. The story follows the three Bordelon siblings as they return to their family’s Louisiana sugarcane farm following the death of their father. With its seductive plot, captivating scenes and brutal honesty, the show attracts the attention of millions of viewers.
After six successful seasons, “Queen Sugar” will come to an end with its final season airing in 2022. With the series finale being in it’s seventh season, it is nothing short of beautiful when observed from the context of biblical numerology. According to scripture, the number seven symbolizes wholeness and completeness. Considering the impact “Queen Sugar” has had on our nation in helping people heal through both the pandemic and social injustices, the finale being in the seventh season is quite fitting.
To emphasize the impact of the show on American Television, the L.A. STYLE Magazine “Queen Sugar” editorial states––“The intricately woven dichotomies highlight America’s persisting and pervasive history of racism and prejudice, while also exploring themes of love, family and spirituality. At a time when an understanding of equality must be confronted and reimagined,“Queen Sugar” is an eloquent reflection of life and represents a courageous narrative both on and off screen.”
“Queen Sugar” is yet another example of Oprah’s influence serving as a foundation on which stories of hope, resilience and vision align. In building her media empire, she has cultivated talent across a vast spectrum while sharing her life principles of mindfulness and self-actualization. She continues to nurture and advance promising minds from all walks of life, and her influence will continue to shape generations to come. In this L.A. STYLE Magazine exclusive, Oprah shares her behind-the-scenes perspective on how “Queen Sugar” has captured the hearts of its audience and spurred them to take a deep look inward.
THE BORDELON FAMILY
Oprah Winfrey: We have followed the Bordelon family and continue to fall in love with their complicated and rich lives. I think the real reason the show continues to make such an impact is that it is rooted in reality. Reality like this isn’t often seen in other television shows. That’s why I love the Bordelon’s so much.
Oprah Winfrey: The intricate work of the writers, the depiction of the characters is so nuanced. [And] the cast, by this time, their rhythms with each other––Wow! And the entire team behind the scenes that bring their full selves to set just every day. That’s what happens behind the scenes and then we feel that on screen.
WORKING THROUGH THE PANDEMIC
Oprah Winfrey: Last summer  Ava called me with this idea to redo the entire season to speak to what was happening in our country. At the time, I felt that her instinct was spot on. I just marvel at the work and the passion of this entire cast and crew to get this done during COVID. What they went through to bring us last season . But y’all just don’t even know the logistics, the headaches, the filming schedule––but constant, constant, constant COVID testing. We weren’t just doing what the CDC said, we were doing everything in our power to keep everybody safe.
And despite all that, everyone was bringing their full selves to their characters. With all else that was [happening] on set and in the world around them, I am so proud of what we accomplished throughout the season.
REFLECTIONS OF LIFE
Oprah Winfrey: Each week, we saw so many comments from people who shared that they were able to grieve and they were able to process the events of 2020 in new and profound ways because what was speaking to them on the screen was also speaking to their hearts through those beloved characters. So to me, “Queen Sugar” serves as an offering to see life from the perspective of a Black family, living and working and hoping and loving in the deep South. Viewers see themselves in these characters and in the Bordelon family. We are rooting for you Ralph Angel all the time!
That is all we can hope for, to make an impact in the world through our art, and we thank you for appreciating it.