I woke up today feeling a lil more sad then usual. I don’t get why when people are famous or live their life in the public eye, that people feel like its ok to be extra insensitive to them. Is it because they feel like giving you 10 bucks for a Cd entitles them to disrespect you? Well, a lot of people have paid ten bucks for cds of mine and let me tell ya, ……….Try me if you want to!!………… But I digress…..
If you are one of the kids like me who grew up on the Doddtown, Franklin School side of East Orange, then you know why my heart is heavy. If you ever took a walk or a bike ride to the McDonald’s on Dodd Street, you know why my heart is heavy. If you ever went to New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, you know why my heart is heavy. East Orange is a small town where EVERYBODY knows each other. Family, friends, friends of friends, friends of family.. Everyone knows each other somehow. So if you’re from here like myself, maybe you sang in the choir with her, maybe you played cards with her, or maybe you were one of the kids who swam in the family pool. Maybe you were scared of their dog, or maybe you just like walking past their home.
I heard a certain radio personality and a co worker of mine say that they were not surprised that Whitney had struggles with substance abuse or that she had died. His exact words were,” ….Look at where shes from…” I took offense to that… It made me feel like, “This is how you look at me huh?” They couldn’t understand why I would feel this way. Why I felt like no matter how much good you do and how successful you are, people are always gonna have in the back of their minds that you ain’t shit, partly cause of where you’re from……
Let’s look at where shes from.
Born in Newark, New Jersey………… Me Too
Family moves to East Orange in hopes of better living………Me too
…Goes to Franklin School where Mr Hamilton was Principal (and still is btw)…..Me too
….Goes on to become one of the biggest and most successful stars in the world while establishing herself as the vocal standard for any and every female vocalist after her. And even with all of this, never forgets where she was from. We’re talking about a women, that no matter the height of her fame and fortune, would return to the elementary school just to visit classrooms, talk to kids, or take everyone to the zoo. Someone who never shrugged you off and would always respond with a “hey” and a smile. Someone you felt like you were close to, because if you are from where I’m from, you were.
In conclusion I would like to say that we’ve suffered a great loss.
We lost our sister…
R.I.P Whitney you will always be an inspiration to me, not only for your great talents, mega stardom and huge influence, but because of where I’m from…..