Whitney Taught Me…Published by Dior Noir on Monday, February 13, 2012 at 10:00 am.
“I believe the children our our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride…”
While Whitney Houston’s mega-hit “The Greatest Love of All” (a Michael Masser-Linda Creed composition, first recorded by George Benson in 1977) may bring up a laugh thanks to Eddie Murphy’s comical rendition in Coming to America, I’d bet many of us remember this song from preforming it in the younger years: in a school assembly or perhaps a church pageant.
The first time I ever learned the song it was for sixth grade graduation (by then I’d already been obsessed with The Bodyguard–tape!–and Waiting to Exhale soundtracks). It was a powerful manifesto for my class–of all races. I “get” the message even more now as an adult than I ever did when I was 12, but even back then the seeds of self-esteem were being planted as we all belted the song (off-key) out to our parents and loved ones in the audience.
“I decided long ago, never to walk in any one’s shadow, if I fail if I succeed at least I lived as I believed, no matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity!”
Wow. Can we get that printed on a plaque? Those lines remain some of my favorites, out of any Whitney song and as we reflect back on her life, her trailblazing accomplishments, her ups and downs, all of who she was as THE voice that came from the soul and spoke to our hearts, I’ll always remember how she taught a little 6th grade Black girl “The Greatest Love of All” and that it starts with self.
In the days following the shocking departure of one of our greatest singers of all time, I’m reminded more than ever that we all owe it to ourselves to tap into that self love. When the world gets tough, sometimes it’s all we have. Thank you, Whitney, for that prolific lesson.
Watch the video below.