There is so much to be said about one of my greatest mentors, the honorable Whitney Houston. Since I was a very little girl, at the age of 2 years old, Ms. Houston was my favorite woman! I would get down to any early 90’s Whitney jam, that crowded the radio.
When I heard her voice, it spoke so much soul into me, my body moved at its own will. I felt this immensely personal connection to every harmonic key she bellowed out, at such a young age, it’s phenomenal to reflect on. Since then, I’ve grown to view her as my spiritual aunt, in a sorts.
Aunty Whitney’s dynamically beautiful spirit was so much more powerful than she was ever given credit or appreciated for. She touched so many people we all celebrate today from Michael Jackson and Chaka Kahn, to Mariah Carey and Brandy Norwood, with her powerful voice and spirit.
“Honestly, Whitney almost never played by the rules society defines for Black women who are propelled to be respected for their power“
Her one of a kind smile and magical grace, is best seen in her amazing role as the Black fairy God mother in Cinderella. Her talents as a singer, actress, producer and model exemplified the power she owned as her God-given self. Despite all of the struggles, and often self-induced traumas she experienced, she always stood tall in honor of herself.
Whitney never once allowed society, the world or anyone else to define her or what she stood for. No mistake or life lesson could demolish her sense of self-worth and her demand for the world to recognize it. Our hateful and oppressive society was, and still is, way too behind for the power and honor in a firestorm like Whitney Houston.
All of the negative and very hateful press still circulating today, three years after her passing, speaks volumes to the unwillingness of our society to respect the power and dignity of a powerful Black woman true to herself. Honestly, Whitney almost never played by the rules society defines for Black women who are propelled to be respected for their power.
“The cost of that media recognition of greatness and influence, is in the willingness to sacrifice freedom in the name of one’s identity”
Nowadays, the media hails women like Beyoncé for her role as a self-proclaimed modern-day feminist (whatever that is), and Oprah for her role in reshaping the landscape of potential for Black women. The cost of that media recognition of greatness and influence, is in the willingness to sacrifice freedom in the name of one’s identity.
Their stories, no matter how much people may like to deny it, have ultimately been cultivated by the media, to fit the image of an acceptable Black woman. For forever, we’ve known Beyoncé as the innocent woman the has media painted her to be, an image she has been redefining for some years now.
Her truth of struggles with stress, miscarriage and even potential infidelity raise more shock filled uproar, than support of her humanness. She, in many ways, has been defined in such a way where she can’t be human.
Similarly, Whitney’s choice to be her own definition of herself, a person she wouldn’t allow the media or dominant society to define, came at a cost as well. She still doesn’t get her recognition for her greatness and instead, left the world only being dishonored for her true humanness.
A woman who is awarded the Guinness World Record for most awarded female act of all time, is now only mentioned in regards to scandal, wickedness and degradation. A legacy of two Emmy awards, six Grammy Awards, more than a dozen AMA’s and Billboard Music Awards respectively, is somehow still shrouded in dishonor, disrespect and just straight up hate.
Whitney still holds the record, shared with another persecuted spirit known as Michael Jackson, for the most AMAs ever won in single year, in addition to the record for the most VMAs won in a single year.
Yet, the recent controversial “biopic” currently making money off of the so-called honor of Whitney’s legacy, barely honored the powerful image Whitney built for herself, long before her marriage.
Three years after her beautiful spirit left the physical world, we are now witnessing that dishonor and dehumanization be passed onto to her beautiful daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Sources are racing so quickly to prescribe Bobbi Kristina’s death, writing off her life as unmercifully as they did her mother.
“Whitney Houston, more than any of the combination of today’s popular artists, transformed the face of pop and R&B for Black women.”
Despite the fact that the majority of the Google searches about Whitney on her passing anniversary, are based on the speculating lies about Bobbi Kristina’s made up planned death, there is much joy to be celebrated today. For starters, Bobbi Kristina, by the grace of God, is still with us and reportedly doing better.
Whitney Houston, more than any of the combination of today’s popular artists, transformed the face of pop and R&B for Black women. She is the ancestor of the “cross over.” And in may ways, she sacrificed her life for it.
So today, will we allow the wicked media we all despise, to get to our celebration of Aunty Whitney? As she would say, “Hell to the no!” When you meet anything dishonoring the passing of the wonderful legacy of our great missionary of love and beauty, Whitney Houston, praise her by declaring, “I’m not doing this today!!“
Thank you, Ancestor Whitney Houston! I praise you for owning your story of greatness and humanness. For baring the testimony of abuse, self-destruction and triumph, despite! I have learned so much from you and I praise you for your legacy!
Peace and blessings always be with your magnificent spirit. And may we live up to the path you’ve laid for us to follow and achieve.