I thought, oh that's nice and we either changed the channel or turned the tv off, I can't remember.
Then, less than an hour later while checking my email, I noticed in the subject line of one message in my inbox, "Whitney Houston, Legendary Icon, Dies." Even with all the trouble she's had these last few years with drug addiction and marriage problems, I was in shock. I just sat in front of my computer screen, in disbelief reading the sad tale, in tears. I did and am still taking her passing personally. As a black woman and mother from the same generation as well as someone who's had a difficult previous marriage, I felt for Whitney. When I read of her daughter Bobbi, who had to be taken to the hospital after an emotional breakdown, my heart broke. She's only 18 and she's lost her mother.
It's been interesting sharing my feelings and thoughts on this with my friends. There was some sympathy, but it was obvious that most just didn't relate. I don't know if that has anything to do with the fact that most of our friends in our area are white and/or quite a bit younger than we are.
They were just little kids when Whitney burst on the scene in the 80's with that voice. Such a voice..
I was disheartened a few days ago, only 3 or 4 days after after Whitney's death, when I read the status of one of my vegan activist Facebook friends. It was some rant about how it was a waste of time to go on and on about this celebrity dying when there were millions and millions animals being tortured and suffering everyday for human consumption. I flirted with the idea of responding on her wall how hurtful that was to me as a black woman, blah, blah, blah.. Couldn't do it. I just stewed. Yes, it's tragic that there are millions of animals and people that are suffering and dying everyday and we should care. But, this was only a few days after her death. Give people time to mourn without judgement.
And then, a couple of days ago, I read of a of radio shock jock along with his on air partner, in my hometown of LA getting suspended for making inflammatory remarks about Whitney, only 3 days after her death. Comments so bad that even a local tv newscaster who in the past, has been in trouble himself for sticking his foot in his mouth, called them out on the air and gave them a good tongue-lashing.
They made some (forced probably) apology statement directed towards the family and they're off the air for a few more days.
Ok this is where I asked myself, were there any black radio personalities making such disrespectful diatribes last week? I doubt it.
These last couple of days, I have felt as I described to my husband, very black.
If you are not black, I apologize if that makes no sense to you. I feel like I blend in for the most part around here, until something comes up that highlights the racial and cultural differences between my friends and me.
I think I had forgotten how amazing Whitney was. I combed the internet for her music videos, reminiscing where I was as a young 20 something when this or that song came out..
Yes, her ending was tragic. But she grew up singing in the church and it's my hope and belief that she's now singing for the Creator, the One who gave her that voice in the beginning.
A good friend of mine shared this video today(you know who you are. :-) ) and I thought it would be a fitting end to this post. It made me smile and tear up simultaneously.
Shake it Grandma!