Malachi 1:14-2:2,8-10; Psalm 131:1-3; I Thessalonians 2:7-9,13; Matthew 23:1-12
Some of you are old enough to remember the late, great vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. Known to millions as “The First Lady of Song,” Fitzgerald was admired for her incredible vocal range and purity of tone. In 1958, she became the first African-American woman to win a Grammy Award, and during her stellar career, Fitzgerald sold more than 40 million records, earning her a total of 13 Grammys.
But her early life was far from stellar. Growing up poor, young Ella’s hardships began when her parents separated, shortly after her birth. When her mother died, Ella went to live with her aunt, and after getting into trouble, Ella was enrolled in a reform school. By age 17, she had left school, and was living a hard life on the mean streets of New York City. But she had dreams — dreams of becoming an entertainer. So one day she got up the courage to enter an amateur talent contest at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. The…
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