Strength Despite Tragedy

Jennifer Hudson

Jealousy is a quality that is very prevalent throughout music. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember and even longer according to older musicians. Sometimes we tend to be jealous of the success of others, especially those to whom we share common origins. We should actually feel closer to those artists whom we shared classes with in school, or lived in the same neighborhood. Since I was born and raised on the South side of Chicago, I feel a strong kinship with countless musicians and I wear that commonality proudly like a badge. One of the many musicians I had on my mind this week was Jennifer Hudson. Not only was she also born and raised on the Chicago’s South side, she went to a high school (Paul L. Dunbar Vocational High School) where thousands of my friends attended, and also my mother. She, like many other musicians from Chicago, has enjoyed great success in recent years. However, she also has experienced great tragedy in her personal life. Many of you readers I’m sure remember that she lost her mother, brother and nephew who were brutally murdered by her estranged brother-in law in October 2008. I’m sure many of you felt empathy for the young singer/actress in her time of grief. It hurt me because of the familiarity with the area where her family lived, with the young life she lived. I did not want her to experience such a tragedy especially with her career on the rise, but it did happen. I’m sure Jennifer Hudson felt the great loss of her family members the way many of us have in our lives, but she continued to perform. In fact, in February 2009, just four months after the tragedy Hudson made her first public appearance at Super Bowl XLIII singing the national anthem. She then embarked on a US tour to promote her first album and has not stopped since. Her second album “I Remember Me” is on the market and is a fantastic collection of songs. More movie roles also seem to be in her future as she will play a nun in the Farrelly Brothers film “The Three Stooges”.  Yes, Jennifer Hudson has experienced success and her future appears very bright. However, it is her strength that has really impressed and inspired me. As the music industry mourned the death of Whitney Houston, it was Hudson who took the forefront in the tribute to the great singer. Of course she gave an exceptional performance.  Earlier in the week we learned that the jury selection was beginning for Hudson’s ex-brother-in-law William Balfour‘s trial. The subsequent trial is another event that will undoubtedly require more strength from Hudson. I encourage you Ms. Hudson to keep performing. Many admire your vocal abilities and also your strength despite tragedy.

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