Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
October 8, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Forgive Geris Hilton

I think it's so important to recognize that what you do online can impact you offline. Gerod and his friends lost their jobs for what they call "trolling" online. They can claim not to be racist all day long, but the proof is in the pudding.

Misty Copeland Shows How She Defied The Odds Of Ballet In New Film

Athena Image
Hiroyuki Ito via Getty Images

George Zimmerman Says He Retweeted Photo Of Trayvon Martin's Body By Accident

Athena Image
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, Pool

Progressive Activists Protest For A Cause You Should Hear More About, But Won't

Philadelphia Federal Reserve

Cop Suggests Writing #BlackLivesMatter On A Cup Promotes 'Violence'

Athena Image
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch Just Said WHAT About A Black President???

Athena Image

After Ferguson, A St. Louis County Town Must Learn To Police Without Profit

St Ann Missouri St Louis County St Ann Municipal C
Mariah Stewart

What People Really Hear When You Ask To Touch Their Natural Hair

Pedro Fequiere
Pedro Fequiere

The War On 'Political Correctness' Is Pointless

Athena Image
Darren McCollester via Getty Images

Nicki Minaj Explains Her Miley Cyrus Call-Out At The VMAs

Athena Image
Christopher Polk/MTV1415 via Getty Images

12-Year-Old Quvenzhané Wallis Adds 'Author' To List Of Accomplishments

Athena Image
Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images

Taye Diggs Shares How His Biracial Son Inspired New Children's Book

Athena Image
Gabriel Olsen via Getty Images

'Execution' Of Mohamed Bah By NYPD Covered Up, Say Family's Lawyers

Mohamed Bah
Christopher Mathias

People Of Color Can Finally Wear Bandages That Match Their Skin

Courtesy Of Toby Meisenheimer
Courtesy of Toby Meisenheimer

Interracial Couples Share The Insults They’ve Experienced In Insightful Photo Series

Donna Pinckley
Donna Pinckley

Student Describes Backlash For Op-Ed Criticizing Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter Wesleyan Argus School Newspaper Bryan Stascavage Wesleyan Huffpost Live
HuffPost Live

Upcoming Doc Seeks To Expose Truth In Michael Brown Case

Robert Cohenpost Dispatchnosalemichael Brownpoliceferguson Policefriendly Temple Missionary Baptist Churchbaptist Church

'Empire' Star Ta'Rhonda Jones Shares Advice She Gets From Taraji P. Henson

Athena Image
FOX via Getty Images

Ava Duvernay On Why We Can't Write Off Criticism Of That 'Suffragette' Shoot

Suffragette Carey Mulligan Meryl Streep Mary Rozzi
Mary Rozzi

Most Men Don't Care About Diversity In The Boardroom

Diversity In The Boardroom

Keke Palmer Isn't Offended By Racial Stereotypes On 'Scream Queens'

Athena Image
Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

Trans Black Woman Attacked, Killed By Group Of Men In Pennsylvania

Kiesha Jenkins

Sandra Bullock Shares Concerns For Raising Black Son

Celebritiesvenice Film Festival 201370th Venice Film Festivalvenice Film Festival
Jacopo Raule via Getty Images

Officer Fired After Tasing Suspect Who Wasn't Resisting

Tim Claussen

Kanye West Thinks He Is Discriminated Against For Not Being Gay

Athena Image
Dominique Charriau via Getty Images

Jimmy Carter Mediating Dispute Between Martin Luther King Jr.'s Heirs

Athena Image
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Women Kicked Off Train For #LaughingWhileBlack Share An Important Lesson On Racial Bias

The Real
Global Black Voices

Global Poverty Will Hit New Low This Year, World Bank Says

Athena Image

Photos Stage A Corporate Life Where Black Women Can Be Themselves

Endia Beal
Endia Beal

Latinos Break The Mold

Latinos Break The Mold
Damon Dahlen

Meet The Woman Who Helped Queer Women Of Color Gain Visibility In The 1970s

Jean Wimberly
Jean Wimberly

New Documentary 'Am I?' Explores What It Means To Be African And American

Am I First Documentary Issa Rae
Nadia Marie

The Worst Cities For Black Americans

Athena Image
David Joyner via Getty Images

Mom Slams Textbook's Incredibly Offensive Definition Of 'Slavery' In Viral Facebook Post


Racial Biases Of Police A Focus As Thabo Sefolosha's Trial Begins

Athena Image
Craig Ruttle/AP

18 Real Things Republicans Have Said About Abortion And Planned Parenthood


Why Black Americans Are Worried About John Boehner’s Resignation

Athena Image

Bill Aimed At Curbing Racial Profiling Signed Into Law In California

Athena Image
SAUL LOEB via Getty Images

Cop Complains After 'BlackLivesMatter' Put On Coffee Cup

Athena Image
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reclaiming The Word 'Slut' Is An Entirely Different Beast For Black Women

Athena Image
Paul Archuleta via Getty Images

T.I. Takes On Black Lives Matter Movement In Spoken Poem

Ti Black Lives Matter
TV One


    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    3. View all RSS feeds

Taylor Swift Doesn't Want To Talk About Her Feud With Nicki Minaj, OK?

Athena Image
Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415 via Getty Images

LeBron James Can Do Anything In Basketball, Like Taking A Selfie

Athena Image
Joe Robbins via Getty Images

Matt Barnes Reportedly Attacks Derek Fisher For Dating His Estranged Wife

Matt Barnes Derek Fisher Gloria Govan
Getty Images

Nicki Minaj Shuts Down The Myth That Women 'Thrive' Off Drama

Nicki Minaj

Toddler DJ Gets The Party Started On 'South Africa's Got Talent'

Dj Arch Jr Sas Got Talent
SA's Got Talent

Exclusive: Victor Cruz Opens Up About Tough Past In New Doc

New York Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz

Odell Beckham Jr. Fined $9,000 For Supposedly Throwing Punches On Sunday

Odell Beckham Jr

Pero Antic Says Thabo Sefolosha Was Giving Money To Homeless Man

Athena Image

Fetty Wap Tops U.S. Album Chart With Self-Titled Debut

Athena Image
Robb D. Cohen/Invision/AP

Stevie Wonder Finalizes Divorce From Second Wife

Couple Fashion Fashion Parties Fashion New York Fashion Shows Parties Other Parties
Jemal Countess via Getty Images

Fox Developing Racially-Charged Police Shooting Project From ‘Love & Basketball’ Team

Athena Image
Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

19 Of Fox News' Most Ridiculous Moments

Athena Image
Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP

Tamar Braxton On Loving And Letting Go On New Album

Athena Image
David Livingston via Getty Images

Grace Jones Accuses Kanye West Of 'Ripping Off' Her Images

Athena Image
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

These Offensive Halloween Costumes Are Frighteningly Ignorant

Halloween Costume
Last Night of Freedom

Wendy Williams: I Would Be Happy To See Terrence Howard Exit 'Empire'

Wendy Williams Empire

Tracy Morgan Joins Lineup For Salute To Eddie Murphy

Johnny Nunez via Getty Images

F. Gary Gray Likely To Direct 'Fast & Furious 8'

Athena Image
JB Lacroix via Getty Images

'Castle's Tamala Jones Producing Tammi Terrell Biopic

Athena Image
Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

Rihanna Opens Up About Getting Back Together With Chris Brown In 2012

Annie Leibovitz exclusively for Vanity Fair

Toddler Gets Why We Need Planned Parenthood Better Than Some Adults

Staceyann Chin Planned Parenthood

Steph Curry Is Back And More Amazing Than Ever

Steph Curry

The First 2 Thoughts Oprah Has Each Morning

Oprah Winfrey Belief

Will Smith Announces New World Tour With DJ Jazzy Jeff

Will Smith In The Studio With Beats 1 Radio
Beats 1 Radio

CC Sabathia Checks Himself Into Alcohol Rehab Center

Athena Image
Al Bello via Getty Images

50 Cent Gives Offensive Explanation For 'Empire' Ratings Dip

Athena Image
Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Jesse Williams Dispels The 'Angry' Black Person Stereotype

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The Most Name-Dropped Fashion Designers In Hip Hop

Fashion Hip Hop

Stephen A. Smith To KD: 'You Do Not Want To Make An Enemy Out Of Me'

Bill McCay via Getty Images

Amber Rose Delivers Impassioned Speech About The First Time She Was Slut-Shamed

Athena Image
David Livingston via Getty Images

'Selma' Director Ava DuVernay To Head Mumbai Jury

Athena Image
Michael Tran via Getty Images

How 'Trap Queen' Turned Fetty Wap Into One Of The Biggest Stars Of The Year

Athena Image
Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images

Spike Lee Named New York City Marathon Grand Marshal

Athena Image
The Times via Getty Images

This Book Is Creating A Space For Queer Black Boys In Children's Literature

Kendrick Daye

And Now 'Lethal Weapon' May Be Getting A TV Series

Athena Image

Denzel Washington On The Important Life Lesson He'll Never Forget

Denzel Washington Boys

5 Beauty Subscription Boxes Made Especially For Women Of Color

Onyx Beauty Subscription Box Onyx

OK, America, Here's A How-To Video On How To Not Murder Someone

How To Not Murder
Daniel Koren

The Festival Of Praise Fall Tour 2015 Is Coming To A City Near You

Festival Of Praise Fall Tour
Face To Face, Inc.

Mom's Viral Breastfeeding Selfie Sends A Strong Message

Jennifer Taylor
Jennifer Taylor


Decades after The Supremes released 'Where Did Our Love Go' and 'Stop! In the Name of Love,' I'm reminded of watching Ed Sullivan's popular eponymous variety show religiously every Sunday night in hopes of getting a glimpse of her.

Her songs became imprints throughout my wonder years. The ghetto-centric swing of 'Love Child,' takes me back to my play sister Sylvia's ritual of writing out the risqué lyrics in her school notebook to pass the time when she was a child stuck in the hospital with rheumatic fever.

Released in 1968, the 'Love Child' was the title track from one of the first Motown releases to touch on social issues and one of their biggest sellers. The irony was, though Diana came from the same hood she was singing about, by then she was very far from that place. Thanks to the guidance of charm teacher Maxine Powell, she had transformed from rags (well, not literally) to pop royalty. After touring the world and meeting real monarchs, Diana got a taste of upward mobility from a view at the top. And there was no way she was going back to the 'hood. Instead, she embodied that "queenly" style and combined it with ruthless ambition to conquer the world.

Without question, she made more than a few enemies, especially with her old musical family including Martha Reeves, Gladys Knight and her own group members Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. But as Temptations singer Otis Williams once observed: "The rest of us was (sic) just singers. We could live with that, but Diana couldn't."
In the cramped rooms of the original Hitsville studios, the reported tensions between her and the rest of the Motown posse often boiled over. It didn't help that many felt Diana received special treatment (private dressing quarters at venues, better hotel rooms on the road and more press coverage in the magazines), because she was linked romantically to Berry Gordy.

Though they were involved (Berry is the biological father of her first daughter Rhonda), it is too simple to state that was the main reason for her success. Fact is, if the world hadn't loved her, Diana would've just been another overexposed pop tart.

But as I grew up, staring at her pristine image on the covers of 'Sepia,' 'Ebony,' 'Black Star' and 'Jet' magazines, always dressed in some wild-styled Michael Travis/Bob Mackie gown, she was, to me, the perfect pop creation. There was always a beaming smile, a twinkle in her eyes and the clothes, though too ornate for mere mortals, always placed her beyond reach.

As many folks who bad-mouthed the "big eyed skeleton," as my friend Nicki once called her, there were just as many who were inspired. In high school, I knew a young woman named Virgie who had a photographic shrine to Diana on her bedroom wall and swore she was, "...going to be a designer, just like Diana Ross in 'Mahogany' (1975)." Years later, many young black fashion designers would admit the movie, and Diana in particular, once (and for some, still) served as their creative muse.

Without a doubt, from kids playing dress-up in the mirror to the homosexual community who adopted her sleek Chic-produced single 'I'm Coming Out' (1980) as their personal anthem, Diana Ross unquestionably represented a freedom that comes with being one thing: fearless.

That's why the skinny diva with the big eyes is still a winner, baby.

Michael Gonzales is a renowned New York City-based entertainment writer.

In celebration of Diana's birthday, we reminisce about her life-and its impact-through photos. View our gallery below.
Tagged as: Berry Gordy, BerryGordy, Diana Ross The Supremes, Diana Rosss Birthday, DianaRosssBirthday, DianaRossTheSupremes, Michael Gonzales, MichaelGonzales
Email This

Comments: (40)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 4
More on Black Voices

Follow Us

Most Commented Articles

Daily Drama

The Best Clips From TV's Hottest Shows

More Daily Drama >>



The Urban Daily

Around the Web