by Stephanie Gatewood
Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Resilience, domestic violence, shattered dreams and the reality of life are all elements from the movie "Sparkle," starring Whitney Houston and co-starring Jordin Sparks. And as the film enjoys its run on the big screen, many communities are dealing daily with those elements in real life and real time.
The character Sparkle, played by Jordin Sparks, is insecure, talented and badly wants to gain the approval of her single parent mother, Emma Anderson (Whitney Houston). Sparkle looks up to her older sister, who eventually is overcome by substance abuse, domestic violence and the greater need for acceptance; seeking love in all of the wrong places.
Emma (Houston) – her dreams of becoming an entertainer shattered – is forced to live in the world as a single parent, raising three girls. As a mother, I can identify with Houston's Emma. As a daughter, I can identify with the young women who think they have the worst mother on earth, until one day it becomes clear that Mom always knows best.
Carmen Ejogo has the role of Sister, who seeks a change from a struggling lifestyle. She settles on a man with the wherewithal to provide her with materialistic possessions but uses her as a punching bag (Domestic Violence) – something that she could tolerate – ultimately leading to her shattered dream.
Every woman, young or mature, should see this movie. Sparkle overcomes her fear, conquers her dream and wins the affection and respect of her mother. Sparkle should be the model character for all of our young women, with the movie accentuating these much-desired character references:
Be persistent, never allow anyone to steal your dreams or define your success, have determination, and live by faith. That's a formula for success.