On Saturday night, I learned that someone very important to me died last week. Deb Powell Simons was my therapist throughout my teen years and early 20s. I had known she had been sick many years ago; learning of her death came as a complete shock. She leaves behind a husband and four young children. She was only 44. Keep reading »
Maya Angelou, a poet and civil rights activist, has died at 86. Angelou is most well-known for her memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings about growing up poor and Black in the South and she leaves behind a trove of poetry, plays, and other books. Angelou was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King and James Baldwin. She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for a book of poetry in 1971, read a poem at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2011, and a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2013. In her later life, Angelou was an educator at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her death was confirmed by her literary agent this morning. [Charlotte.TWCnews.com; New York Times]
Karyn Washington, the founder of the site For Brown Girls and the #DarkSkinRedLip project, has died at age 22, Clutch Magazine is reporting. On the #DarkSkinRedLip website, Washington posted photographs of Black women proudly wearing red lipstick; the project came about after the rapper A$AP Rocky said that women of color can’t wear red lipstick. With her site For Brown Girls, Washington sought to fight colorism within the Black community by embracing women of all complexions. In an interview last year with Jane Thang Productions, she called herself “empowered by other strong women and girls, even those who don’t know they are inspiring.” Washington continued: “Women who are doing what they can to uplift others around them and make a difference in their community motivate me to do the same. I think it is so important for women no matter what complexion, race, or religious background to be united in making sure our voices are heard – that we are being leaders and positive role models to the younger generation.” We are sad to hear about Karyn Washington’s death and hope she knew many women looked to her as a role model. [Clutch Magazine] [Image via AliyahMonea.Wordpress.com]
Peaches Geldof, a writer, model and designer who is the daughter of musician Bob Geldof, has died at 25, the BBC is reporting. A London-based “It Girl,” Peaches —whose full name was Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof — most recently wrote for Nylon magazine and penned a column for Elle as a teenager. She is the daughter of Geldof and TV host Paula Yates, who died from a drug overdose when Peaches was just a girl. According to the BBC, emergency personnel responded to a call from her home in Kent and announced her death was “unexplained and sudden.” Peaches was married to musician Thomas Cohen from the punk band S.C.U.M. and has two children under the age of two. She was briefly married to Max Drummey from the band Chester French. Our thoughts go out to the Geldof family. [BBC, Daily Mail UK] [Image via WENN]
Update, 1:45p.m.: Her father, Bob Geldof, released a statement: “We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, cleverest, wittiest and most bonkers of all of us.” [Mirror UK]
Maybe you won’t cry while watching this 20 minute long memorial clip of the best moments of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s expansive film career. But you’ll certainly be left with a heavy heart at the illimitable artist the world has lost. From his lighter, more comedic roles in “Almost Famous” and “Flawless,” to his severe and ascetic ones in “The Master” and “Doubt,” the wide-ranging talent he shared during his 22-year-long career is on full display. Filmmaker Caleb Spain reportedly spent over 200 searching for clips from 47 films. It’s time to mop up these damp cheeks and go add some of these films to the Netflix queue. [Vimeo]
On Friday morning I had just sat down at my desk at work when I got the message: my friend Ned committed suicide the day before.
What? No, not Ned. No. No. What? Why? Why now?
I don’t have anything original to say about grief, other than that incredulity, anger and sadness are on rapid spin cycle.
Yes. Yes, Ned. Keep reading »
Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, an anti-apartheid peace activist and Nobel Prize winner, is dead at 95. Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his activism on behalf of civil rights for South Africa’s Black people, living in a six-foot wide cell on Robben Island. Mandela had been sick for a long time and died at home. [NBC News]
But did she see it coming?
Psychic Sylvia Browne, who is probably most famous to people my age for her regular appearances on “The Montel Williams Show” during the ’90s, passed away yesterday morning at her home in San Jose, CA. She was 77. Browne claimed to have discovered her psychic abilities at age 3, and made a living sharing her premonitions on shows like “Montel Williams,” “Larry King Live” and “Unsolved Mysteries.” In 2006, while appearing on “The Montel Williams Show,” she told Louwanna Miller, mother of Cleveland kidnapping victim Amanda Berry, that her daughter was dead. Browne took a lot of heat when it was discovered that Berry, along with two other kidnapped women, was alive and had been held captive for over a decade. Keep reading »