The Epitome of Power and Passion

Happy Friday, All!  How are we holding up??  The “leaders” are still playing with each other in the States … and the world!  How exciting to watch!!  We’ve got to save ourselves.  TGIF, then!!  Thanks for your positivity!  This world today can use all that it can get!!

I could say this entire piece with two words – Tina Turner!!  But that wouldn’t challenge my attempt to say something ELSE about “Tina” born Ana Mae Bullock in Brownsville, TN …  I mean, this person was truly a “self-made woman”!  Born in 1939 when music was one of the few ways for African Americans to “get ahead” in life since there was no way to have “an equal life” with our “white” counterparts, she hit corners, took turns, stumbled and fell, used food stamps to get back on her feet and the rest is a power-filled history.  The thing that amazes me the most is how she started out as an R & B singer with and when she met “Ike” is that she somehow blossomed into “The Queen of Rock”.  So, she not only survived a relationship with an abusive out of control junkie who fell from grace, she transformed herself into “The Epitome of Power and Passion”, to use Beyonce’s words.  How does “one” do that?!?  You know, when I look at her life there are no words to appropriately describe what she did, who she was, not to mention how many different kinds of people on the Planet whose lives she touched and impacted.

For me, I am amazed at how she came through the part of her life when she lovingly partnered with the already though only locally known talent of Ike Turner.  For African American men, music was a way to “get ahead”, too.  Yet, she and Ike met up at a time when heroin was literally destroying “the black community”!  As she mentioned in one of her many many televised interviews, she had experienced having houses burned, cars shot into, and multiple recoveries from drug-fueled fights and abuse from Ike!!  How do you do that?!?  Her life is a testament to how one conjures up the inner strength of an average African American woman who powerfully overcame what was a death trap for many African American lives to become “The Queen of Rock”!  As I scurried through pages of her story after her passing, I realized how much I had missed about her life and was even more compelled to be drawn closer to understanding this woman’s life.  I was born at the tail end of the heroin crisis in America’s many cities though I was raised close to New York City in the suburbs of Westchester County … New York, that is.  I witnessed people trying to make it by selling heroin in an attempt to become the next “Frank Lucas”.  It was not an easy task as the high-grade heroin that hit the streets in the “Big Cities” often ended up in the arms and veins of family members … fathers and brothers and occasionally a few females in the music industry!  That lifestyle of driving and pushing and singing and dancing not to mention preparing for her spectacular concerts … and believing in herself and her mission made other people call her “The Queen of Rock”!  What a gift to humanity, she is.

In closing, I wanted to simply state as I did on a good friend’s post of a few songs by Tina that “There’s Only ONE!”  Wow …  May you never be forgotten “Tina Turner” aka “The Queen of Rock”!!


John I. Cook, Director

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