Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
May 28, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend: 4 Events In Brooklyn Black Culture Will Be Flourishing

Memorial Day weekend is in full swing and Brooklyn has you covered if you are looking to be around some beautiful black culture. If you still don't have any plans check out some of these events where the melanin will definitely be on fleek.

Historically Black University Accused Of Reverse Racism In New Lawsuits

Debra Saunders White Nccu
North Carolina Central University

Cops In Freddie Gray Case Push To Move Trial Out Of Balitmore

Baltimore Nero Freddie Gray
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Court Releases Photo Of Cops Posing With Black Suspect Like A Hunting Trophy

Chicagopd
Court File via Chicago Sun-Times

This Campaign Wants Young Girls To Embrace Their Natural Curls

Curly Hair Girls
Eyecandy Images via Getty Images

Michelle Obama Is The 'Hugger-In-Chief'

Michelle Obama
Timothy Hiatt via Getty Images

Fierce Women On Twitter Are Celebrating ‘Thick Girl Appreciation'

Thick Girl Appreciation Day
Twitter

American Kids Are Poorer Than They Were Decades Ago, Education Report Shows

Classroom
Shutterstock / Olesya Feketa

Cleveland Police Agree To Rein In Force Under Justice Department Agreement

Cleveland Police
Ricky Rhodes via Getty Images

UVA Student Martese Johnson Asks Judge To Drop Charges From Bloody Arrest

Martese Johnson
Zach Gibson via Getty Images

Cleveland Clergy Demand Action After Brelo's Not Guilty Verdict

Cleveland Clergy
Daniel Hazard / UCC

Groom Has Flawless Comeback To 'Meninist' Tweet Mocking His Beautiful Wedding Moment

Adam Harris
Dustin Finkelstein

There Are Over 200 Million Fewer Hungry People Now Than 25 Years Ago: U.N.

Africa Children Eating
ASSOCIATED PRESS

One Particularly Upsetting And Racist Dr. Seuss Cartoon Is Heading To Auction

Unn

Teachers Of All Races Are More Likely To Punish Black Students

Student
Shutterstock / Lucky Business

St. Louis County Admits It Has A Jail Problem, Is Finally Getting Help

St Louis County Police
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Obama Tweets Back To Girl's Awesome Letter About World Peace, Marriage Equality

Note Obama Twitter
DrFahmida/Twitter

Chicago Police Throw Daddy-Daughter Dance, Personally Escort Girls Without Fathers

Chicago Daddy Daughter Dance
ChicagoCAPS07/Twitter

Why This Activist Wants More African Americans To Push For Legal Marijuana

Marijuana
Shutterstock / Yellowj

Native American Students In Utah Are Getting Pushed Out Of School At Alarming Rates

The Life-Shaping Moment Transgender Icon Janet Mock Had In Kindergarten

Janet Mock
Robin Marchant via Getty Images

This Program Is Reclaiming Hip-Hop As A Tool For Success

Hiphop1
Ashley Velez

Gender Equality Can't Be Ignored If We Want Global Progress: Report

Africa Smiling Women
MIGUEL MEDINA via Getty Images

Zoe Saldana Questions Why White Actors Have Played Characters Of Color For Decades

Zoe Saldana
Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Cleveland Patrolman Found Not Guilty In Deaths Of 2 Unarmed Suspects

Brelo
AP

Michael B. Jordan Responds To Trolls Saying A Black Man Can't Play Johnny Storm

Michael B Jordan
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

'Abused Emojis' Could Help Domestic Violence Victims Break Their Silence

Abused Emojis
BRIS

Feds To Investigate Case Of Acquitted Cleveland Cop

Michael Brelo
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Teen Who Was Shot In The Head Makes 'Astonishing' Recovery

Turan Caudle
WRC-TV

Zambia Hits Major Milestone In Push To Guarantee Everyone Has Access To Sanitation

Africa Children
Shutterstock / africa924

UN Warns Of 'Alarming Spike' In Female Suicide Bombings In Nigeria

Nigeria Bomb
ASSOCIATED PRESS

FLOTUS Encourages Grads To Seek Out 'The Most Contentious, Polarized, Gridlocked Places'

Michelle Obama
Win McNamee via Getty Images

2 Of B.B. King's Daughters Think He Was Poisoned

Bb King
ASSOCIATED PRESS

71 Arrested In Cleveland Protests Over Cop's Acquittal Deaths Of Unarmed Black Motorists

Cleveland Protests
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Operation Coach Pairs Veterans With At-Risk Youth To Help Both

Kleiton1
Up2Us/George Morency
Global Black Voices
 

Akon Launches Academy To Provide Electricity To 600 Million In Africa

Akon
Star Max/IPx

Ohio Gov. John Kasich: 'We Must Respect' Michael Brelo Acquittal

John Kasich
Darren McCollester via Getty Images

Racist Letter Tells Black Family To Leave Neighborhood

Letter
PIX11

Yet Another Reason Advertisers Should Embrace Body Diversity

Lane
Lane Bryant

Viva La Diva! Melba Moore Is Back On Stage

Melba Moore 54 Below
Slaven Vlasic via Getty Images

The Key To Feeling Confident In Any Situation

Meeting
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc

FOLLOW HUFFPOST

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

Molestation Claim Against Michael Jackson's Estate Dismissed

Jackson
TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images

Tracy Morgan Settles With Wal-Mart

Tracy Morgan
Greg Allen/Invision/AP

Charles Barkley Rips NFL For Its 'Serious Issue With Concussions'

Charles Barkley
Stephen Lovekin via Getty Images

Nina Simone Biopic Starring Zoe Saldana To Be Released This Year

Nina Simone
David Redfern via Getty Images

Azealia Banks Joins RZA For Musical Drama

Azealia Banks
Rich Fury/Invision/AP

Amy Schumer Takes On Bill Cosby

Amy Schumer
Comedy Central

Why Tamar Braxton's New Clothing Line Will Be Your Summer Shopping Obsession

Tamar Collection
tamar collection

Chrissy Teigen Is Beyond Stunning In Nude Shoot For DuJour

Chrissy Nude
Bruce Webber

Ciara Looks Stunning In New Ad Campaign

Ciara Cavalli
Courtesy

The Best Makeup To Wear When It's Too Damn Hot To Wear Foundation

Best Tinted Moisturizers
Courtesy Photos

#BeyoncéAlwaysOnBeat Hashtag Proves Queen Bey's Dancing Knows No Bounds

Beyonce
Larry Busacca via Getty Images

How 'The Wiz' Went From Nearly Closing On Opening Night To Becoming A Tony-Winning Hit

The Wiz Musical
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tracee Ellis Ross Receives Honorary Doctorate From Alma Mater

Tracee Ellis Ross Honorary Doctorate
Twitter

11 Times Lenny Kravitz's Accessories Were Cooler Than Yours

Lenny Kravitz
Getty Images

This Is What Happens When Black Women Try On 'Nude' Clothing

Nude
YouTube

It's Not Just Nail Salons, Hairstylists Face Serious Health Problems Too

Hairstylist
Getty Images

Damon Dash Responds To Jay Z's 'Stream Of Consciousness' YouTube, Spotify Diss

Jay Z Damon Dash
Frank Micelotta via Getty Images

Some Black Celebrities Just Can't Stop Saying Messed-Up Stuff About Racism

Stacey Dash
Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Steve Harvey Gives Tips On The Minds Of Men

Steve Harvey
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Lil B Threatened To Curse James Harden, And Then Harden Lost His Powers

Twitter
Twitter

Diddy: 'We Are Committing Genocide On Ourselves'

Diddy
Invision for REVOLT

Flavor Flav Arrested For Multiple Charges Including DUI, Possession Of Marijuana

Flavor Flav
JOHN GURZINSKI via Getty Images

Marvin Gaye's Ex-Wife Shares The Story Behind The 'Blurred Lines' Lawsuit

Jan Gaye
HuffPost Live

Shaquille O'Neal Kissed A Fan On The Cheek And She Absolutely Lost It

Shaquille
YouTube

Drake's New Song Featuring Beyoncé May Have Just Leaked

Beyonce
John Shearer/Invision/AP

Young, Gifted & Black: Damien Sneed, Multifaceted Music Maestro

Damien Sneed
Michael Rubenstein

Mariah Carey's Label Boss Says It's Not 'Realistic' To Expect Another Number One Hit

Mariah Carey La Reid
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Exclusive: Vivica A. Fox Talks 'Independence Day 2'

Vivica A Fox
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Whoopi Returns To 'The View' After Brother's Death

Whoopi Goldberg The View
Bryan Bedder via Getty Images

21 Photos That Show What Real Full Lips Look Like

Full Lips Nokyliejennerchallenge
Instagram/NnesCorner

Jamie Foxx's Impressions Just Took Over 'The Tonight Show'

Jamie
NBC

Azealia Banks Slams 'Bogus' BET Awards, And Nicki Minaj

Azealia Banks
C Flanigan via Getty Images

Kanye West Says He Was 'Over-Censored' At Billboard Awards

Kanye West
Kevin Winter/BMA2015 via Getty Images

Tweet

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
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including CNN.com, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly

80%

Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
GE
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
CEO
Click2View
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Co-Founder
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director
WCG

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Comments: (40)

Add a comment

Page 4 of 4
More on Black Voices

Follow Us

Most Commented Articles

Daily Drama

The Best Clips From TV's Hottest Shows


More Daily Drama >>

Bossip

feed

The Urban Daily

feed
Around the Web