13 Black Celebrities Who Overcame Abuse as a Child to Find Success

Oprah-WinfreyOprah Winfrey

One of the world’s richest women reached her status despite a troubled upbringing that included physical abuse from her grandmother, who started out raising her. When she was 6, Winfrey was raped by a man who “took me to an ice cream shop — blood still running down my leg — and bought me ice cream,” the media proprietor said during a 2012 appearance at Ball State, according to irishexaminer.com. She added she was sexually abused from 10 to 14, and was pregnant, delivered a baby but lost it after two weeks. She has been outspoken about sexual abuse.


Tyler-PerryTyler Perry

On Winfrey’s show in 2009, director and actor Tyler Perry gave graphic insight into the abuse he said he endured as a child growing up in New Orleans — physical abuse from his father and sexual abuse from a man at church. He said it was a “living hell,” and just looking at a photo of him as a kid could bring tears to his eyes. He also said he considered committing suicide because he was so traumatized.

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