Inspirational Celebrities: Whitney Houston and Abraham Lincoln
Everlasting Footprint celebrates the lives of everyone. Inspirational celebrities are our role models, helping us become who we aspire to be. Celebrities and historical figures entertain, educate, motivate, and impact our lives.
Every week, EF remembers inspirational celebrities who are celebrating a birth or death anniversary.
Inspirational Celebrity #1: Whitney Houston (died Feb 11, 2012)
By: Cindy Readnower
Whitney Houston was gifted, gorgeous, with a golden voice; she possessed poise at a young age. In fact, she was so elegant and smooth that she sometimes received criticism for not being “black” enough. She appealed to everyone, both black and white, there was nothing offensive about her, and her talent was so great that no one could deny it.
Houston played her first movie role in The Bodyguard. The movie explored inter-racial relationships between a star and her bodyguard. Although it was released in 1992, when society was more accepting of the idea, even then there was negative media attention and the movie’s public relations department downplayed it.
The movie was originally written in the 1970s and designed for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross as the stars, but it never got made. The 1992 movie ended up grossing $411 million, and the soundtrack is the best selling soundtrack of all time, with $45 million in sales. The Bodyguard ended up with mixed reviews from critics, despite its success. Critics failed to see any chemistry between Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner in their roles. However, the movie was a breakthrough, not only with the subject matter, but also because it cast an African American woman in a starring role. Specifically, an African American leading woman who was chosen by the white man who produced and also co-starred with her: Costner himself.
Critics even noticed the darker color of Houston’s skin and compared it to the woman playing her sister in the movie, Michelle Lamar Richards, who has lighter skin. Some critics remarked that the “star” was blacker. Many of those comments now seem ridiculous in the light of the fact that the world has grown more open minded, but it is because of Whitney Houston and breakout roles like hers in The Bodyguard that society has grown more accepting and begun to close the door on outdated stereotypes.
Inspirational Celebrity #2: Abraham Lincoln (born Feb 12, 1809)
The Young Face of “Honest Abe,” Abraham Lincoln
By: Liz Grear
Abraham Lincoln is often referred to as “Honest Abe” and I feel like most of us just kind of accepted that name without really understanding why. One story claims that it all began when he was a young boy working as a store clerk. Sometimes he would accidentally hand the customer the wrong change and when he realized it at a later time— he would close up the shop and run down the road in order to give the customer the correct change back.
The name stuck with him and soon people in his town would go to him for advice. Some even mentioned that he should work as a lawyer or in politics due to his honesty. As he got older, he took the suggestions seriously and began practicing law and pursuing a career as a lawyer even though, even back then, lawyers were identified as people who shouldn’t be trusted. People continued calling him “Honest Abe” even as he started running for president and the nickname that started when he was just a young boy working at a store ended up being a helpful tactic in winning the election against Douglas.
Even Douglas, his opponent, would never deny the integrity that Abraham Lincoln possessed. After finding out he lost the election, Douglas announced: “You have nominated a very able and very honest man.” And so it goes. Abraham Lincoln was honest and able and one of the most important presidents ever elected.