How can you win, if you ain't right within?, says a recent rap song. And James Brown sang Money can't save you, but time will take you out! Why do so many artists, myself included, have the need for drugs and alcohol? Applause is not enough, money is not enough, and yes, sometimes love is not enough, especially when there is no love of self. It doesn't matter how many people love you when you don't love yourself. After the concert with fan applause is over, one often sits in the dressing room alone, exhausted and unhappy. At the performance of my play One Day in the Life at San Francisco's Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Dr. William H. Grier, co-author of the 60s classic Black Rage, asked me how I was doing. I said I don't know. Dr. Grier told his son, "I don't know what's wrong with Marvin, he's got Mayor Willie Brown opening his show, a packed audience and a Jaguar parked outside. What's wrong with him?" Some call it divine discontent, i.e., no matter how many blessings God bestows upon us, it is not enough. And then sometimes we are simply ungrateful bastards. And so we turn to drugs for comfort, to medicate, to reach that altered state of mind that the human touch cannot fulfill, or perhaps the human touch is not there, or perhaps we cannot touch that divine self that must be touched before we can enjoy the touch of another, the love of another, no matter it be husband, wife, children, friend or fans.But we know the cause for our addiction is deeper than drugs or the trappings of materialism, it is something in the air that stinks like rotten meat, as Langston Hughes put it. Sometime when I'm in the South, I get that feeling that something ain't right up in here, in this blood soaked land, land of the slave system that endures to this day. Or is it that same feeling W.E.B. DuBois felt in China when Chairman Mao introduced him to a million people, "Thank you Chairman Mao for the great introduction, but in my country I am just a nigguh."
Did Whitney feel like just a nigguh, with all her talent, fame and fortune? May Allah grant you peace of mind, Whitney!
Whitney Houston drowned after cocaine use, says coroner
Whitney Houston's death was caused by accidental drowning, but drug abuse and heart disease were also factors, a coroner has ruled.
Coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey said drug tests indicated the 48-year-old US singer was a chronic cocaine user.
The announcement ends weeks of speculation over the cause of Houston's death.
She was found submerged in the bath of her Los Angeles hotel room on the eve of the Grammy Awards on 11 February.
In a statement, the LA County Coroner's office described Houston's manner of death as an "accident", adding that "no trauma or foul play is suspected".
The cause was cited as drowning and "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use".
Other drugs found in her blood included marijuana, as well as an anti-anxiety drug, a muscle relaxant and an allergy medication.
But these were not factors in her death, the coroner's statement said.
Patricia Houston, the singer's sister-in-law and manager, told the Associated Press news agency: "We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure."
The pop star was laid to rest at a cemetery in her home state of New Jersey after a funeral that was attended by celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Mary J Blige.
The singer, who was one of the world's best selling artists from the mid-1980s to late 1990s, had a long battle with drug addiction.