Etta James: The Queen of Soul

When I look out at the people and they look at me and they’re smiling, then I know that I’m loved. That is the time when I have no worries, no problems.” – Etta James

I am drawn towards Etta James because I aspire to defy all odds as she did. She had the power to command her audience through her music, to defy expectations, break stereotypes, and rise above the limitations set for her; all these things being my life goals. Her singing could tell a story and I feel like we share that passion. We are both females and minorities, which motivates me to achieve as much as she did. I use music writing as an outlet for my feelings; when the world around me gets to be too much for my brain to handle, the only way to let it out is through music. I think that we share this quality. The biggest differences between us is that I live in a time of acceptance and freedom and she had to fight her way to achieve things I can get so easily. She was also religious. Although, her faith doesn’t bother me, because even if what we believe is different, we both have our own core values, whether that come from religion our how we were raised. Etta knew that she wanted to bring her style of music to the world, and no one was going to get in her way. I would like to gain the type of independence and drive she had while I am in TALONS. If I can implement her confidence into my work, I will be far more accepting of myself. Although her independence was her strength, it was also her weakness. Her intense personality and drive intimidated people, causing doors of opportunity to close. Etta did not just break the mold, she broke barriers that society built for her. As an abused child of colour in the foster care system, hopes not high for her, but her voice and confidence carried her to the top. She was verbally and physically abused by her vocal coaches but ,singing through the pain, she performed anywhere she could and finally became the star society led her to believe she could never be. It is important for people to research Etta James because she reminds us that you can have bad days but if you find a way to release your stress into something you’re passionate about, you will be truly happy. She will be remembered for pouring her soul into song and letting people see that vulnerability makes groundbreaking music, her emotion affected the music industry in a way that will never be reversed. No longer will music be hollow and meaningless, a good tune will need to have depth and history.  I believe she is worth researching because not only she was on fire herself, but she was also the spark that started the flame of many others. Etta James was eminent because she changed the music industry through her passion; she put her heartbreak on the radio for the world to hear, and because of her impactful sound, she influenced successful musicians such as Adele, Beyoncé and Diana Ross. She gave these women hope that even if we come from nothing, we can become something prodigious. She was inspiring, but she was also inspired. She was influenced by Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, and Rosetta Tharpe, who were also all eminent women. She expected herself to follow her idols and fill their monumental shoes. This seemingly unattainable goal was not just achieved by Etta James but surpassed by the one and only “Queen of Soul”.


Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Etta James.” Encyclopædia BritannicaEncyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 Dec. 2016,

Deming, Mark. “Etta James | Biography & History.” AllMusic, 2018,

“Etta James.”, A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017,

Shmoop Editorial Team. “Etta James Influences.” Shmoop, Shmoop University, 11 Nov. 2008,

“Who Is Etta James? Everything You Need to Know.” Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline, 2018,





Anne of Green Gables Scene One Response

Anne impresses me by being confident in herself and optimistic about humanity despite all the unkindness she has encountered in her young life. Even though Marilla is firmly resolved to send her back to the asylum because she is “not [the] boy” they expected and “nobody want[s her]”, Anne believes she has skills the Cuthbert’s could use(27/45). She was rejected and moved from home to home, and yet she still assumes that “they [mean] to be just as good and kind as possible” (47). She fears returning to a life of isolation because she is an amazing storyteller and she wants an audience who will appreciate, rather than mock her wild imagination. She is conflicted internally because her lively imagination gives her joy yet is the cause of her ridicule; she struggles to either celebrate her gift or hide it from judgement. I can relate to Anne because I also do not conform to the norms of the ideal girl who is expected to be dainty and helpless. For example, I have strong opinions and I am often judged for vocalizing my thoughts. If I had suffered rejection like Anne had, I would not have the same strength and determination to prove my worth or be able to see a common pond as “the lake of shining waters” (23). Anne’s ability to love herself and her positive view on life are appreciated by Marilla and Mathew and she earns a family and a home at Green Gables.

The Hidden Consequences of Lying

Happiness gained from a mistruth is delusionalmeaningless, and ultimatelyunsustainableSam’s lie seems wrong; for me, the pros of this situation are not worth the emptiness of the cons. There is a significant positive impact on Dave and Morley’s wellbeing because of Sam’s declaration that his “dad is dying,” but that boost of self-esteem Morley and Dave feel when “[n]eighbors started showing up” dropping off “spinach lasagna” and compliments was hollow.  If they find out about the truth behind the kindness, they would feel patronized. In fact, the accidental positivity from their neighbors may damage their sense of self even further; their prior self-doubt has not been addressed at all.  Carl’s claim that Dave “look{s} great” comes from a sense of obligation, not truth.  Even though there was no ill will in their intentions, I still feel like there is something ethically wrong about leading people to believe something that is untrue. Dave feels old and unattractive, and the compliments he receives help him regain confidence and make him feel youthful again. Little does he know that those “compliments” are simply a bandage for someone who is believed to be a dying man. If I was lied to, I hope I would have the ability to see through the forgery. If I was being pitied, I would not feel confident; I would feel demeaned. Dave and Morley’s emotions are in fact being manipulated because the compliments and gifts they receive are tokens of pity and not genuine regard. Maybe Dave’s ignorance to the situation made him believe the lies, maybe he believes his neighbor’s words because he wants them to be true. After all, he does not have the context I do to make an informed inference. Although sometimes it’s easier to believe false platitudesself-improvement requires the truth.

Alex: The Ideal Camp Partner

Although on first glance Alex seems like the polar opposite of me, if you dig a little deeper, we have more in common than you think. Alex is a jack of all trades, being someone who enjoys basketball, reading and art. Since she is such a complex person, she could relate to a plethora of people. Because of this, when making conversation with Alex, we could talk about something we have in common, or she could talk about something I may have never heard of. She brings the best of both sides of the personality spectrum. One of the main things that I would like to do on the retreat is to gain new insights. Her being so skilled in many subjects, gives me the opportunity to learn new things while on the retreat. I personally am not an athletic person, but maybe Alex could expand my horizons and give me a new way of looking at sports. We could teach each other and leave camp with more skills than when we arrived. Overall, Alex seems like every good quality of a friend blended together and I think that getting along with her would be effortless. 

Digital Footprint Assignment

How might my digital footprint affect my future opportunities?

All of my post will be on the internet forever. Meaning that my future employers or schools will be able to see anything that I have ever put on my social media. If i were to post something unprofessional it might make me seem unqualified , resulting in me not getting jobs. It can also affect me positively. For example if any awards or volunteer work I have done is put on the internet, it might make me seem like a more well rounded candidate, therefore i would be more likely considered than someone with no digital footprint.

Here are some strategies to keep your Digital Footprint safe and appropriate:

  1. Think to yourself ” Would I want my family to see this?” when making a post.
  2.  Never post anything that is negative towards any type of person.
  3. Make sure your accounts are private and only people you know can see it.

If I could go back in time, here’s what I would do differently online:

When I first made my Instagram account I would let almost anyone follow me because I wanted more followers. I was oblivious of the fact that not all of those people were my friends. It ended up with me having lots of random people on my feed, and strangers looking at my posts. I would tell my younger self to only let her friends and family follow her because her posts have lots of personal information that shouldn’t be given out to strangers. I would explain the internet as being just like real life. In the real world, you wouldn’t go up to a stranger and tell them where you went for vacation or what school you go to because it’s unsafe. That is exactly what you are doing if you let strangers follow you, you’re giving them inside information about your life. Overall, I think that the most important thing is keeping your personal life private, just like how you would in real life.