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Mississippi Actress Starts Campaign to Help Fund Youth Arts Program in Jackson

JACKSON, Miss.—Amia Edwards, 8 years old at the time, gathered in the living room with her mother and siblings. It was movie night, and the night’s pick was “The Color Purple.” The movie arrived at the scene with Sophia’s monologue at the dinner table, where she had finally broken her silence after prison and abuse made her a shell of herself. It was in this scene that Sophia came alive and was born again.

The scene captivated Edwards in how Oprah Winfrey, playing Sophia, moved from laughing like a maniac to rocking back and forth, tears welling her in eyes as she recounted her life to Celie and thanked her for everything she had done for her.

“I memba that day I was in the sto’ with Miss Millie. I was feeling real down. I was feeling mighty bad. And when I seen you, I know there is a God. I know there is a God,” Sophia told Celie, crying.

Amia Edwards’ first movie role was in J. Lee Productions’ 2014 film “Karma,” which is an adaptation of his play “No Good Comes to Those Who Do Wrong.” Photo courtesy Amiable Productions

Sophia resonated with Amia Edwards. She was a full-figured Black woman who spoke her mind, and this scene showcased Winfrey’s range as an actress for the young viewer. Her mother watched the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” religiously—and in turn so did her daughter—but this scene allowed Edwards to recognize and appreciate the Mississippi native’s duality as a talk-show host and actress.

“I remember her talking about what it was like to be a plus-size person being an actor and how she was trying to lose weight, and Steven Spielberg called and told her, ‘Don’t drop a pound,’” Edwards told the Mississippi Free Press. “And so I secretly coveted

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