I was blessed to have cousins who lived around the corner from her and they told me about the real Whitney. They went to school with her. I could literally walk to her house. I always felt she struggled with who she was, unable to be with the woman she truly loved for a variety of reasons. Her family life was a farce, her professional life was a farce, and the only place she found solace was in drugs. Her life was so sad. I’m a foster kid and I always understood there was more to her life than her addiction. When the documentary Whitney came out in confirmed everything I ever suspected. She was victim of abuse and neglect, robbed of her childhood.

We are so unforgiving. We had no right to intrude into her life just like we have no right to know about the lives of any other celebrity. I get no joy from someone’s down fall. In fact, I try to the human in them. We all have issues and we all have baggage. I already had respect for her, in spite of her visible flaws. I loved her more after her death. She highlights the epitome of what is wrong with the Black community, how we treat and pimp out our young children for fame/money, and how we Black women aren’t allowed to be human. We don’t get to talk about our pain, we must hide our secrets to protect our mothers. We can’t love who we want to love because our community’s homophobic. Her life was so tragic, yet so common. Black women like Whitney die every day and we don’t give them a second thought.

Thank you for calling on us to restore Whitney’s honor, respect humanity, and to learn to love Black women where through our issues. The world beats us down as it is. We shouldn’t celebrate the downfall of our sisters who may be struggling.

Buy Our Human Family’s “Field Notes For Allyship, Achieving Equality Together,” the new tool for allies available at Amazon.com| I 🖤 www.ko-fi.com/marleyk

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