Bobbi Kristina brown

Even as Bobbi Kristina Brown lies silent in an Atlanta hospital room, reportedly “fighting for her life,” a wave of noise surrounds her.

In response to reports that the Houston family as well as her father, Bobby Brown, are saying their goodbyes, Brown released the contradictory statement: “If we issued a statement every time the media published a false report regarding this matter, that’s all we would be doing 24 hours a day. This is false, just as is the vast majority of the other reporting that is currently taking place.”

Meanwhile, a separate family source tells E! News that Bobbi Kristina “is not brain dead, and the Houstons and the Browns are not fighting.” They went on to explain, “There is no ‘family gathering’ today that is any different from any other day since she has been in the hospital.”

Whatever the case, some things remain undeniable: Bobbi Kristina is not well, and even in what has turned out to be the nadir of her life, she is not being left alone. It’s an unfortunate reality for anyone in the public eye, but particularly for someone who never elected to be. The world has never given the daughter of Whitney Houston room to breathe, which makes the idea that she could soon breathe her last breath all the more sadder.



My earliest recollection of Bobbi Kristina is a performance Whitney Houston did in 1997 of “Exhale (Shoop, Shoop).” During it, Whitney handed the microphone to many of her peers – Monica, BeBe Winans, and Shirley Caesar. Then came Bobbi Kristina, who was more or less trotted out on stage though she noticeably didn’t want to be there. When asked why she came out, the adorable child shrieked, “Dad, did it!”

If there’s any constant about Bobbi Kristina, it’s been this seeming desire to walk into the spotlight already laid out for her, but a slight reluctance to take those steps knowing what all it entails. This is a child born to two famous parents whose collective issues with substance abuse dominated their narrative for more than a decade. It’s one thing to read about it; it’s another to have to actually live with that.

As a result, she carried a lot with her. Just like a lot of us. And like many of us, she may not have completely dealt with much of it.

I watched Lifetime’s The Houstons: On Our Own with so much uneasiness. It had only been a year since her mother died, and there she was, trying to sing despite making it clear via her own words and actions on the show that simply functioning was becoming its own struggle. Though I disagree with Rosie Perez’s opinion about the role the God-awful Whitney movie may have played in Bobbi Kristina’s current troubles, there is no denying that the 21-year-old had a mother so famous that literally every day of her life is marred with triggers.

In the wake of her hospitalization, there has been talk that she’s been struggling with anger and depression. None of us know for sure, but I pray for her health, and what allegedly calls for a miracle. More importantly, I hope that Bobbi Kristina finds peace. To be free from all of the speculation; the burden placed on celebrity children to live up to their parents; the space to conquer what’s tormented her.

And if there’s anything we can take from this heartbreaking and tragic story, it is to reflect on our lives and the people who exist within it. To listen, care, and engage those close to us. So many of us walk with burdens. We are just as susceptible to chaos, which is why support systems matter.

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem, and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him @youngsinick.



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