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February 15, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Whitney

Whitney-houston-looking-up-thumb-47In the swirl of media surrounding the sudden and entirely unexpected death of pop icon Whitney Houston, I remembered that February is also Black History Month in the US and Canada.  Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is an annual observance during which we celebrate the achievements of the African-American community, who literally rose from the ashes of slavery and fought for their rightful place in human society.

Whitney is just such an achievement.  One of what now seems to be an ever-dwindling number of musicians and performers with roots in the "Motown" sound, Whitney was a Jersey girl who claimed the heart of Detroit.  She was a part of a family of singers - including her mother and sister - who brought soul and R&B music to the forefront of Western society, and Whitney herself was an inspiration in her own right.  Had there been no Whitney Houston, there may be no Rhianna, Jennifer Hudson, or Beyonce today.  Her voice inspired others to raise theirs and make a "joyful noise."

So - today on the Ask Patty blog I'm not calling for a moment of silence.  I just want you to go out and sing today.  Any song at all.  Doesn't matter if it's in the shower, in the car, in your office, on the street, if people are listening, or if it's a private moment.  Just sing.  Raise your voice, no matter who you are or where you came from.  That's the spirit of Motown, it's what Whitney and her family were all about, and ultimately, I think it's one of the messages of Black History Month.  Stand up and sing, even if it's all you have left.  Make a joyful noise.  Let Whitney's inspiration carry on.


Kaeli Gardner



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