Wrong again. Reporters were told to ask Ross all questions a distinct but not a moral difference. Cindy Birdsong makes this clear. Flo was never forbidden to speak to reporters. ever. There are clips where Flo is speaking on youtube.Florence Ballard had a simple code of right and wrong that she lived by. It was based on treating people fairly. When Ross and Gordy took this proud young woman and tried to turn her into a flunky she rebelled.
For example, after Dinah Ross was made lead, Florence and Mary Wilson were ordered to never speak in public, to let Miss Ross do all the talking. Mary Wilson could deal with it, Florence Ballard simply couldn't.
Look at the tapes of Florence and you see a young woman of a wonderful natural dignity and warmth. Look at the way she uses her hands and body, compare it to the catalog of artificial personas Ross goes through --Dietrich, Harlow, Crawford, Marylyn Monroe, for Pete's sake.
That's what we're talking about here: killing off a sweet natural girl in place of a selfish, artificial one.
The "Mother of Love" mythology gay men have built around Miss Ross is self-serving illusion. They idolize Miss Ross because she's artificial, because she's the anti-black woman -- thin, breastless, hipless -- because she's "camp"; and mostly, because she has the heart of a reptile.
Their adoration of Miss Ross runs no deeper than that. Indeed, her vile treatment of Florence and Mary Wilson gives them unalloyed joy because to them it's an affirmation that real femininity is about paint, big wigs, artificiality, not sweet, gentle, loving, feminine, natural.
Does Ross have a better voice than Aretha Franklin? Why then do gays idolize Miss Ross but ignore Aretha?
Which in part explains why the heterosexual black community doesn't do divas. We don't like Dina Ross, Naomi Campbell, Barbara Striestand. We like Queen Lateefa, Aretha Franklin, Mary Wells.
We like our queens with big hips and big hearts just like Florence Ballard.
You know what else destroys a group? A group member with undiagnosed psych issues (not refferring to Ross, either) a drunken group member who has to be sobered up to perform. A drunken or discontent member who fails to keep the details of her contract by showing to venues. Flo got a grand wake up call. Show biz ain't fair.
You do seem to be right about the personifications that Ross employed early on in the Supremes. You left out Connie Stevens (the hiccup in between notes). She was enamored with greatness. Flo wanted to be Old Flo from the hood who made it big. Well she did; and she ended up right back in the hood too. Bad work ethic and a substance abuse problem wayyy before it was popular also helped to kill the supremes.