The Devaluation of the Diva
by Paul Scott | nowarningshotsfired.com
My friend, Jae told me about an incident that she recently had on her way home from work. These two teenagers were having a loud public/ private discussion in the back of the bus, tellin’ the interested and uninterested, alike, about everything from the graphic details of their sexual escapades to the best way to roll a blunt. What really concerned Jae was that these were not guys but teenage girls who turned her ,otherwise, quiet and uneventful ride home into a combination of the Jerry Springer Show and Def Comedy Jam. She could only sink down in her seat and think about how her generation had failed these two girls and wonder what will happen to these black women of the future.
I used to be clear about the definition of a diva. In the 60’s, it was all about Diana Ross and the Supremes with the big wigs and expensive gowns. During the 70’s the epitome of diva-ness was Patti Labelle or the Three Degrees. During the 80’s and 90’s you had Kylmaxx, En Vogue and Whitney Houston (before Bobby Brown).But according to Beyonce’s alter ago “Sasha Fierce” the 21st century definition of a diva is “a female version of a hustler.”
Forget Jennifer Hudson, the new Dream Girl is a sista that will stick you for your jewelry and slit your throat while you sleep. Yeah, that’s what I call a lady.It is a case of historical romanticism to suggest that all black women have always carried themselves as perfect ladies. Uncle Jack can tell you stories about how “Mustang Sally” could out drink, out smoke and out gamble even the toughest Stagger Lee-type dude. But for the most part, black women have always carried themselves in a respectful manner; divas in every sense of the word. However, over the last 20 years, the value of “the diva” has been on a steady decline; rapidly accelerating, downhill, over the last decade.
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