You never know how you will meet your lifetime soul sister, and King and Winfrey’s story is solid proof that Black sisterhood is alive and well.

A Long-Standing Friendship

In a recent issue of PEOPLE’s The Beautiful Issue, Gayle King, and Oprah Winfrey opened up about their long-standing 46-year friendship and elements of what made them the powerful duo they are today. 


The Beginning

When they met, 22-year-old Oprah Winfrey was a news anchor a then 21-year-old Gayle King was a production assistant/writer at the same station Oprah worked at. That night, Winfrey offered King a place to spend the night since a heavy snowstorm was upcoming in Baltimore that night, according to weather forecasts.

Although they barely knew each other, they stayed up getting to know each other that night.

“We ended up talking all night long,” said Winfrey.

Although an unforeseen situation led them to meet one another, it blossomed into a beautiful friendship that has now spanned over four decades.

“We’ve literally been friends ever since,” King told PEOPLE.

On Black Sisterhood

This timeless, vibrant friendship proves that Black sisterhood is refreshing and necessary to the soul. Although King and Winfrey have gone on to build powerful careers for themselves, they have maintained and nurtured a beautiful friendship. Mainstream society often portrays Black women as always being at loggerheads with each other for the most part. The stereotypical notion that women, especially Black women, have to have toxic relationships with one another is never accurate. Although passive-aggressive cattiness often comes to the surface when unhealthy friendship bonds are formed by two people, King and Winfrey, are proof that it is possible to find your forever friend.

Evergreen Companionship

When done correctly and with the right person or set of people, creating, nurturing, and maintaining solid friendships can be soothing to the soul. Black women already go through so many blatant or sometimes more nuanced things and having a friend in your corner who gets it is priceless. Unfortunately, many of us have become jaded and cynical toward the notion of friendship and sisterhood because of painful experiences. Still, like many things in life, there is hope for fruitful friendships that don’t end in simmering toxicity or one person stealing another person’s man. Having your person means peace of mind, limited drama, honesty, and happiness for each other’s successes without jealousy. King and Winfrey have shown us that although no friendship is perfect, building a beautiful, evergreen companionship is possible.

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