Thank y’all for coming to see me tonight. How are you doing? Let’s get this party started, yeah! (Assistant whispers to Whitney) Oh, oh right. What college is this? East Southern University. Well, hello, ESU. ESU, ESU, ESUUUUU (dances). Let me start by saying, I believe that children are our future … (hums) … lead the way … show them all the beauty they possess inside … shit it’s hot. (Wipes brow and drops fur coat to the ground) Why you having this shit outside, anyway? You never heard of air conditioning? Where’s Bobby? Bobby? You know, I got to tell you a little secret. Just between you and me. (Leans over the podium) The demons are after Bobby. I try to protect him now, ‘cause he’s my man, and you ain’t mess with my lair, my family. ‘Cause family is the most important thing in your life. You need to find a man that has your back, that will do anything for you, deal with your shit, literally, your black love. But what can I say? (Shakes head repeatedly) Demons after him … But, Bobby, baby, I just want you to know IIIIIIIIIIIIIII will always love yooooooooooouuuuu. (Assistant whispers to Whitney, points to note cards on podium) All right, right now, don’t you be bossing Whitney around. (Rummages through note cards) Who got my glasses? Shit. (Tosses cards into air) No one needs to tell me how to live life. I am Whitney Houston, baby. I can tell you all you need to know about being a success in life, ‘cause I’m a diva. You know, they say everybody searching for a hero … people need someone to look up to … Well, let me tell you—I never found anyone to fulfill my needs … so I learned to depend on me. You can’t depend on nobody but yourself. Everybody is out to get you. The tabloids, the demons, the bitch ass at the Chinese place that always messes up my order. The only person I depend on to get through the day is God and Whitney. If you have God, if I have God, they can’t take away our dignity! We’ll have the greatest love of all. Inside of me. And let me tell you something else. You succeed in the world like I have, you don’t do cheap shit, OK, Diane Sawyer? Crack is cheap. I make too much for me to ever smoke crack. Let’s get that straight, OK? We don’t do crack. We don’t do that. Crack is whack. Stay in school, I tell you. You got to stay in school. (Assistant whispers to Whitney) Right, right, right. OK, you out of school now. Well, use your education to be a lawyer or banker or teacher or something. I didn’t need an education. God gave me a voice to sing, and when you have that, what other gimmick is there? So find your strength in love, baby. Where’s Bobby? Bobby? Who’s that in the front row—the demon with the black robes on? They’re everywhere, hundreds of black-robed demons! Bobby, they coming for you! Get my gun out of the Lincoln, baby. (Knocks over podium, revealing pajama pants worn over a bathing suit) Hold on, baby. God is on his way. He told me to hold on. He’s on his way. Where’s my pistol, goddamn it?!?
June 7, 2006
Commencement Speech, Whitney Houston, East Southern University, June 9, 2006
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