Back in third grade, I was one of those little black girls that had my mama go out and buy me a new dress so that I could amaze people with my note-climbing ability by singing "The Greatest Love of All"...not really. My school was K-12 and in a very small town, so small that I was only one of about 9 African American's in my entire school and I was related to 6 of them, so no one else was competing with me on singing that song! No one did and I thought I was the next Whitney Houston that night as I walked out with my third place trophy and check. After that, the sky was the limit for me. I was off to a good start and bound for success, just like Whitney.
Even after I lost interest in singing, it was Whitney was the first woman that I remember being able to relate to in terms of looking in the mirror and seeing someone that resembled me. She was on the cover of magazines, on t.v. and award shows; everyone loved this woman. Her brown skin, dark brown eyes and amazing smile made her a princess to me.
Girls grow into women, have their own experiences and choose their own paths. As I grew older, I became more interested in Xscape, EnVogue, and Mary J. Blige. But I will always see Whitney as the one who (in my 8-year-old eyes) first brought African American beauty, grace, and class to the screen, a real hero for me to look up to. The year was 1986 and that is the image that I will hold on to when I talk and think about Ms. Whitney Houston.