On Friday, Black women bloggers were shocked to learn about the death of Karyn Washington. Washington was the founder of the website For Brown Girls and the #DarkSkinRedLip Project. We were doubly shocked to learn her death was due to an apparent suicide. She was only 22-years-old.
I have never met Karyn, but I received a post from her once. I run another blog and posted about the #DarkSkinRedLip Project. Karyn responded, thanking me for the shout out. I never imagined that it would be my only opportunity to connect with her.
It hurts my heart to know that while Karyn was doing so much to empower other young black women, she was dealing with her own struggles/pain. In an article on Karyn, For Harriet wrote:
“We don’t know Karyn’s story. Perhaps she, like many other “strong” black women did an incredible job of masking her pain. Or, it’s equally as possible that she recognized that she needed help and sought treatment for mental illness. What we know is that something went terribly wrong and we owe it to Karyn, and others with similar struggles, to find out what happened and work to fix it.” http://www.forharriet.com/2014/04/all-is-not-well-with-our-girls-when.html#more
In her short life, Karyn did more than most folks. I have much respect for her/her work.
Rest in Peace Karyn…
While trying to process Karyn’s passing, Black women bloggers were also alerted to the passing of Domineque Banks. Banks was a popular natural hair advocate on YouTube. She went by the name Longhairdontcare2011. Domineque had lupus:
“No one knows for sure what causes lupus. But some groups of people have higher rates of lupus. African-American women are three times more likely to get lupus than white women. African-American women tend to develop lupus at a younger age and have more severe symptoms than white women.” http://womenshealth.gov/minority-health/african-americans/lupus.html
When she Domineque passed, she was only 27-years-old. Last year, I was bummed when I turned 40. It seems silly now, when thinking about the deaths of these young women. Time is not guaranteed to any of us, we should never take it for granted.
While I am natural, I wasn’t aware of the work of Domineque. However, she was obviously loved by other natural hair advocates on YouTube. There have been some nice tributes.
Rest in Peace Domineque