Tag Archives death

15 Inspiring Quotes From Aaliyah on The 15th Anniversary of Her Death

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It was 15 years ago today when the world lost iconic singer Aaliyah in a tragic plane crash.

The fallen star was already a success story prior to her passing, but she was destined for so much more than she got to experience. Luckily for us, the legendary artist left us with much to be thankful for through her music, but more so her words and wisdom.

Not only was Aaliyah inspiring to the music industry and those hoping to become artists themselves, she also motivated and empowered women everywhere. Realistically, if you were listening to her music or her interviews at any point, inspiration was delivered.

While there was likely so much more the world could’ve learned from Aaliyah, we’re thankful that she gave us as many gems as she did while she was here.

To honor the beautiful singer on the 15th anniversary of her death, we wanted to highlight 15 of her most inspiring quotes in an effort to keep her name alive and her wisdom present.

See our list on the pages below and be sure to add your favorites in the comment section. Rest in Peace Aaliyah.

“I stay true to myself and my style, and I am always pushing myself to be aware of that and be original.”

“I know that people think I’m sexy and I am looked at as that. It is cool with me. It’s wonderful to have sexy appeal. If you embrace it, it can be a very beautiful thing.”

I want people to remember me as a full on entertainer and a good person.

Son of Late D.C. Mayor, Marion Christopher Barry, Passed Away

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Sad news recently hit that Marion Christopher Barry has passed away.

The Washington Post announced on Sunday that the son of The District’s former mayor died in what seems to be a drug overdose.

After his father’s death, Marion ran for office to fill the position of the late leader. Though he lost the race, the 36-year old served as a community figure/advocate in the Southeast D.C. area and owned a construction firm called Efficiency Contractors LLC.

Regardless of past run-ins with the law due to his drug addiction, Democratic nominee Trayon White recognized Barry as a “brother” who “cared about the community” and “had a lot of things that he wanted to work on to better” it.

Marion Christopher Barry will surely be missed. Rest in Peace.

Stuart Scott’s Daughters Taelor & Sydni Reflect On His Death 1 Year Later

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One year ago, the sports world lost one of the most influential leaders of our generation — Stuart Scott.

The beloved sportscaster for ESPN passed away at the age of 50 after losing his battle with cancer, though his memory lives on. Today, on the one-year anniversary of his untimely death, Stuart’s daughters Taelor and Sydni reflect on their father’s life and what he meant to each of them through a short video put together by ESPN.

Taelor and Sydni both shared some touching memories of their father Stuart and we’re sure you’ll need a tissue or two. Watch it below. Rest in Peace Stuart.

#WhatHappenedToSandraBland: It’s Been One Month Since Her Tragic Death & Her Story Remains Relevant

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It has been one month since Sandra Bland mysteriously died in her jail cell in Waller County, Texas after she was arrested during a traffic stop. If you don’t know the story by now, here’s some background information to catch you up although we’re sure you’re somewhat familiar with the case.

Immediately following her death twitter went up on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and a for a few weeks after. The hashtags #WhatHappenedtoSandraBland and #SandraBland were trending for quite some time while as social media users discussed race relations, police brutality, and the prominent question, what really happened to Sandra Bland? Regardless of her questionable death, the 28-year-old, unarmed, African American woman died in police custody and social media was a notable force in bringing awareness to her story.

As investigations continue to find out what really happened to this woman, it is imperative that conversations surrounding her death continue as well. In fact, conversations surrounding the death or Christian Taylor should continue. Conversations surrounding the death of  Sam Dubose should continue. Conversations surrounding the death of Ralkina Jones should continue. Conversations surrounding the deaths of the countless individuals should not stop any time soon.

When the headlines disappear, when the protests simmer down, when camera crew is no longer around, the conversation on the importance of black live shouldn’t stop. If anything they should become more intense and even deeper.

It is impressive how social media has been utilized to spark debate and incite conversations regarding the matter.  And while it has been a notable force in the Black Lives Matter movement there are individuals that have found countless ways to get involved and bring light to the issues at hand. No matter how you decide to get involved, use this post as a reminder: do not let the conversation die here. Why are black people being killed by police at such an alarming rate? Who are certain individuals not being held accountable for their actions? Why isn’t justice being served?

It has been one month, 31 days and a life time to go for Sandra Bland’s family. While she may be physically gone, her story certainly isn’t and it shouldn’t be. Don’t let your powerful voices turn to whispers as the days, years, and months go by. The conversation is still relevant and your voices are still needed.


#BlackLivesMatter: 28-Year Old Sandra Bland Tragically Dies In Police Custody

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When will it end?

28-year old Sandra Bland was traveling from her hometown of Naperville, Illinois to Texas to start a new job at Prairie View A&M, her alma mater. Things took a life-changing turn when Ms. Bland was stopped by police right out front of the campus for allegedly failing to signal while changing lanes, a petty traffic violation. The police claim that during the stop, Sandra was “combative” and because of that, they threw her to the ground, arrested her and charged her with “assault on a public servant.”

That’s when things took a turn for the worst.

A few days after the arrest, before her family could bail her out, Sandra Bland was tragically found dead inside her cell. Police claim she died from “self-inflicted asphyxiation,” which her friends and family and friends say is impossible. “I do suspect foul play,” Cheryl Nanton, a friend of Sandra, told ABC 7. “I believe that we are all 100 percent in belief that she did not do harm to herself.”

Video obtained by ABC 7 of Bland’s arrest has a lot of us wondering, “where was the combative behavior?” It appears that Sandra didn’t resist or anything of the nature. As a result, Ms. Bland is dead and it all falls at the hands of the police.

To be fair, we won’t make any assumptions on what definitely happened, but we’re in the majority of those who have a lot of questions.

Rest in Peace Sandra.

Parents Learn of Daughter’s Death on Facebook

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The parents of a college freshman who was found dead on campus say they found out about her death on Facebook.

Jasmine Benjamin, a 17-year-old nursing student at Valdosta State University from Lawrenceville, Ga., was found dead in a study area in her dorm on Nov. 18. According to CBS Atlanta, police are treating the death as a homicide, pending the results of an autopsy.

Jasmine’s parents say the school did not inform them of her death, learning about it instead through a friend’s Facebook post.

For someone to be so insensitive not to reach out to the family, it’s very, very hurtful to say the least,” James Jackson, Jasmine’s stepfather, told the network.

School officials say campus police notified Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department, which then notified her parents.

Jackson said police told him that Jasmine “had been dead for at least 12 hours before she was found, because passers-by thought she was simply sleeping on the study room couch,” adding to the family’s frustration.

“That’s the most disturbing part,” Jackson said. “What kind of school is this that they know someone’s laying on the couch to go check on them after a certain amount of hours?”

The parents told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last week that they were initially told their daughter died of natural causes. “To find out it was a homicide and that somebody actually murdered our daughter changed everything,” Jackson said. “It was like hearing the news all over again.”

In a statement released Monday, the university said it is “continuing to work with law enforcement agencies in their ongoing investigation.”

Peter Saul Says: “Talk About Dying”

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“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off,” said Dr. Peter Saul.  In his semi-morbid Ted Talk about death, there were also important enlightening moments.  The one thing many family and friends rarely discuss is the actual probability of death and tragedy of one another.  Saul points out that nearly 1 in every 500 elder persons in homes actually have a plan for possible death and surgery room complications.  While it’s disturbing to consider of one another, there’s no better time to bring it up than when you’re healthy and coherent.

"Ted Talks" "Talk About Dying"

According to Saul, many people consider uses of hospitals and doctors as “saving” lives; but in actuality, it should be considered a “prolonging” of life.  What would you do if your father suddenly fell into a vegetable-state threatening coma?  How would you know what he would prefer as the outcome?

Saul is an advocate for talking about death.  And came to find that 99% of all participants in his exercises left feeling relieved and less stressed about their next phases of life.  When family and friends die while in Intensive Care, it causes 7x more stress than when died in any other circumstance.  His idea is to get people talking about these inevitable possibilities, because as much as we like to believe we are invincible, it simply isn’t true.

Talk about dying and be at ease with living.

Watch the following video for his full breakdown on how to approach your family with these questions, and the 4 ways humans go… (it’s not depressing, i promise!)


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Grief & Anger: Social Network Stages of Celebrity Death

"social media grief"

This past Saturday, February 11th, the world was overcome with anxiety when reports surfaced of Whitney Houston’s death.  Like many other events in the recent past, Twitter was the first to spread the word virally.  And in that same token, most wanted to believe it was one of many twitter hoaxes in the past.

Unfortunately, it was not.  The Queen of Pop was really gone.  Once it was confirmed, and shock turned into grief–similar to Michael Jackson, Etta James, Heavy D,  Amy Winehouse, and more–the real debates began.

It seems like the cycle that never ends.  It happens the same every time.  Not because everyone grieves the same, but precisely because they do not.  While social media commentator, Luvvie, described it as the 5th step in a 5-step cycle, I see much more included into this equation.

Whitney Houston sold over 170million records worldwide as one of the best selling music artists;  Won 415 acclaimed awards in her lifetime as the most awarded female act of all-time; And inspired more than three decades of singers and performers.  She had a huge impact on the music industry, to say the least.  Because of this domination in her field, she simultaneously played a huge role in the lives of many through the evolution of her music.

The problems that arise during this cycle of grief for many of her fans and critics via social networks, is that some choose a very different route than the majority.  There’s the extreme grief, the mild grief, the guilted, the mild angry and the extreme angry.  All of these emotions do not necessarily have to be equated with the death of the celebrity, but will play out as so.

The Extreme Grief

It’s only right that I place myself in this category.  It also seems to be the most popular form. As a huge fan of Whitney Houston and many other performers who recently passed, I grieved like most. Majority of tweeters and facebookers belong in ‘extreme grief’ because they have no reserves for feeling distraught over an inspiration and motivation in their lives. These are people who will post videos, engage in conversations about memories they have of their music, movies, etc. They will most likely quote them, share photos, and express condolences to their dear and near friends and family. And without a doubt, they will defend their position to anyone belonging to the ANGRY category. But that will come later. This is usually healthy grief via social networking.

The Mild Grief

The mild griever will not tweet more than 5 statements about the deceased, and in some cases can come off as a bit insensitive.  In reality, it isn’t insensitive at all, but a different form of grieving, if grieving at all.  Many mild grievers express their sorrow for the loss, but mostly because they understand that someone else is hurting more than them.  They are not overcome to share every moment of their grief cycle, if they are even having one.  They will not post hundreds of photos, follow every news outlet updates, or share every favorite song or movie.  They will speak their condolences, and continue their life as usual.  Nothing wrong with that.

The Guilted

The guilted is probably the most healthy place to be, but, at any moment, can turn either way.  They are the most humanizing of all grievers.  While they are very taken aback by the news, they’re also reminded of personal battles they that may be similar or worse.  So, they will post condolences and maybe even tweet about their impact.  But, they will also add in personal experiences and people they’ve lost or are losing.  Depending on the circumstances, they can become angry and shut down to mild grief or slum to a worse mild angry.  Mostly, they don’t want to seem as if they’re sanctifying the celebrity.  And are not compelled to dive completely into apparent grief because of their personal lives.

The Mild Angry

The Mild Angry is when grief via social networking becomes borderline terrorism.  These people will (sometimes) express condolences, but will undoubtedly make a joke of the matter.  Bringing up the unfavorable past of the deceased and making mockery of cause of death is what they’re most popular for.  While others may make a few jokes to lighten the mood, the mild angry will make such vile jokes that they end up receiving the attention they seek.

The Extreme Angry

No one can stand these people, except for the ones who belong in the group.  Borderline terrorism has crossed into a TSA Lockdown by this time.  These people are the ones who are instantly unfollowed or deleted.  They laugh about how no one spoke of the deceased the day before; make light of their death by saying they deserved it; cry about how no one said anything when their personal friend or family member died; and/or become a nuisance to everyone who is trying to grieve in peace.  They have it all wrong and speak their opinions the loudest.


Whichever way you swing in your social media grief of celebrities, one thing that’s fact of our latest loss: Whitney Houston is deserving of praise no matter the cause of death or personal tribulations.  Iconic and legendary celebrities give up their privacy to inspire a world.  We’ll be celebrating the music of Houston for decades to come, and ignoring all else from (some of) ‘The Guilted’ on down.  We wish the best for all of Whitney’s personal family and friends, and hope that some of you social networking angry birds find the 3-star points at the end of the boulder collapse.

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Love Peace and Soul: Lessons From Don Cornelius

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"Soul Train" "Death" "Suicide" "Love Peace and Soul"

Marking the first day of Black History Month, the Black community and all lovers of music and dance worldwide will begin its celebrations by paying tribute to the King of Soul Train, Don Cornelius.  As the face and embodiment of a marginalized people, Cornelius helped integrate Black music and Black dance into homes of all colors and races nationwide.  His slogan “Love, Peace, and Soul” catapulted the show to relevance for over 22 years (1971-1993) although the show continued to air up until 2006.  These three words were essentially the embodiment of his life’s work, even through death.

Towards Love

“It’s always a pleasure to find something that matters,” said Cornelius.  Early on, Cornelius was a motivated journalist by the Civil Rights Movement.  As a radio host and personality on the influential WVON, he found something else that mattered to him just as much; this was music.  Soul music was taking the Black world by storm, but there were no shows on syndicated television to expose them.  Cornelius took his love for self, and his love for his people and their accomplishments and possibilities and placed them front-and-center to battle any other greats in all of entertainment.

Towards Peace

As a writer, producer, and host, Don Cornelius created opportunities for dancers and singers alike on Soul Train.  It became the “longest-running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history.”  It highlighted new and fresh talents such as Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and even David Bowie.  Don Cornelius and Soul Train gave a downtrodden people representation when there were none, pride when there was little, and hope for a continuous and evolving country.

Towards Soul

Don Cornelius was found deceased earlier this morning in the privacy of his Sherman Oaks home this Wednesday morning.  According to sources, he died of a self-inflicted wound.  This alleged suicide comes two-and-a-half years after his bitter divorce in 2009, which he claimed stating “I am 72 years old. I have significant health issues. I want to finalize this divorce before I die.”  While speculations of tumult proceeded his actions afterwards, the greatest understanding this allows us to see of Cornelius is that through the money and fame, he too, was only a human being battling the ups and downs of life.  Through it all, he birthed a new nation of hope and belief leading up to the booming music industry today, including the legacy of Soul that led to Hip-Hop.


Rest in Power to Don Cornelius.  Love, Peace, And (We Could Never Forget) Soul


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