Brook Stephenson Mourned By Center for Black Literature

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Dear Friends,

It is with deepest sorrow and regret we share the loss of our brother and colleague, Brook Stephenson. We considered Brook a part of the Center for Black Literature family as he has served as a committee member for the National Black Writers Conference (NBWC) for the last three years and has served as a peer reviewer for our literary journal,  "The Killens Review of Arts and Letters." Brook can be described by most as intelligent, supportive, an all-around "good guy," with a witty sense of humor and yet, Brook was so much more than that to so many people. We offer sincere condolences to his family and for those whose lives he touched.

The Center is honored to be with working with the family on the official New York memorial service slated for the end of August.

Brook, a Detroit native, made his mark in the writing industry from his beginnings at Rolling Out. This is how many in our field, the literati, know him.  I met Brook a little over a decade ago through our sister-friend, Frenchie Davis, not at a literary event of any kind. It was a sunny summer day in 2003 and we all trekked out to Brooklyn's Brighton Beach with a crew of brown folks. Children in tow, cars loaded, we spent the day just grillin' and chillin'.  We became instantly "cool".  This is just around the time I consulted for the National Black Writers Conference as part of the AKILA WORKSONGS team.  Brook was there.

He was always there.  I am pretty certain he has attended each NBWC since his arrival in Brooklyn. His literary world expanded, and he kept on top of the arts and culture scene, contributing through his work. He captured this journey with the sharpness of his camera lens and he captured our hearts with his smile. I called him my friend. I will miss talking to my friend. I will miss running into my friend at an event and on the streets of Brooklyn. I will miss sharing a laugh with him and hearing his stories and adventures out in the world. Most of all I will miss his happiness... it was his way of being. Happy. And he shared this with everyone.

Brook,

May your energy and love be ever present. May your creativity resonate amongst our people. May we always remember--we celebrate your life.  Rest in Power my brother.

Your Sister in the struggle,

Maeshay k. Lewis

Center for Black Literature

Medgar Evers College, CUNY

centerforblackliterature.org

 

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