Friday, July 24, 2009

RIP Storyteller: E. Lynn Harris

Lynn, some people thought you were the second coming of Richard Wright. Some people thought your were our version of Sidney Sheldon, popular but crappy. Some people thought you were an undercover crusader--showing the black community a distant mirror of the ugliness it reflects on issues of gay life. Some people thought you weren't forceful enough, or opened up our "dirty laundry" of life on the DL.
But that pales in the face of the many--not the some-- who just liked your work as a way to pass the time on the train, or by the pool, or liked you as a person. You didn't create or destroy any genres. You didn't hawk and crow about your books as if they were a bootleg DVD. You weren't my idol, but I wanted to be successful like you. Why? Because you just plain told good stories. Ain't that something to exhault, treasure?
RIP, storyteller...

19 comments:

Fellow Writer said...

Saw the outpouring on facebook. A LOT of authors got your message and shot back replies including our mutual friends. He was a good person, and your words, though personal, are very considerate.

Anonymous said...

RIP

Monica said...

Oh my Lord. He was only 54.

Rest in peace.

lincolnperry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lincolnperry said...

Thats a decent eulogy Nat!

If The World was Mine, RIP!

Lisa said...

He was our other million seller.

SPB said...

Thanks for this, man. Lynn was a good friend to me...

msladydeborah said...

A very nice euology indeed.

eisa said...

great tribute

Daniel Bruno said...

Daniel Bruno Sanz would like to share his Huffington Post essay with you;
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-bruno-sanz/obama-2012_b_234874.html
Please post it on your website and send your link to us for inclusion at DanielBrunoSanz.com
Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/DanielBrunoSanz
Regards,
Navas
Here are the keyords in the essay:
13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, 2012 Election, B.E.T., Barack Hussein Obama, Booker T. Washington, Bryant Park, Cipriani's, Colin Powell, Criminal Industrial Complex, Deb Slott, Do The Right Thing, Heidi Klum, Hip-Hop, Mark Penn, Melting Pot, Pink Elephant, Racism, Reconstruction, Robert Johnson, Seal, Segregation, Shelby Steele, Sidney Poiter, Sonia Sotomayor, Spike Lee, Tavis Smiley, Terrence Yang, The Dance Flick, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Virginia Davies, W.E.B. Dubois, Zero Mostel, Politics
Prologue to Obama 2012
We approach the future walking backwards, our gaze forever fixated on the past. Predicting the future is not a passive exercise; we invent it every day with our actions.
I began the sketches for what would ultimately become Obama 2012 in March 2007, a month after Barack Obama declared his candidacy. I had spent much of the previous 18 months living abroad as an entrepreneur and statesman of sorts, and I was slightly out of touch with the pulse of life on the street in the United States. I learnt about Sen. Barack Obama’s Springfield, IL speech formally declaring his candidacy for president of the United States through one of the international cable news channels and thought how great it would be to have a fresh start after years of mediocrity in Washington and a plummeting reputation around the world.
By September, after what seemed like raising a six-month-old child, my sketches had turned into Why the Democrats Will Win in 2008 the Road to an Obama White House. It was my answer to the burning question everyone had back in March: Can he really win? Actually, not everyone thought it was a question. For many people, including Mark Penn, director of the Clinton campaign, the answer was an easy “no way.” This strategic blunder made it that much easier for the Clinton campaign to be defeated. Then there were Black pundits like Shelby Steele, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, who came out with a 2007 book entitled A Bound Man, Why Obama Can't Win.
Being Black did seem to be an automatic disqualification, but then why did someone need to write an entire book arguing what should have been patently obvious? Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell came to my mind and I remembered that he could have run for president in 1992 as a war hero. But Colin Powell was Ronald Reagan’s protégé and got a special pass on the race question. Black conservatives like Justice Thomas, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell were careful to disassociate themselves from liberal thinkers and activists like Jesse Jackson, who lost, as expected, the 1984 and 1988 Democratic primaries. Ultimately, Colin Powell, in spite of all his honors, declined to run for president. His wife Alma feared for his safety. Common sense said that a candidate like Obama, for numerous insurmountable reasons, didn't stand a chance of winning the Democratic primary, let alone a general election in which 10% of the electorate is African American and Republicans controlled the White House for 20 of the preceding 28 years. But I decided that Obama's chances merited a closer examination. In it, I would bring to bear my gambling skills.

rikyrah said...

this was nice, Chambers. Can't believe he was so young.

Literate Muse said...

E. Lynn Harris was truly a wonderful human being. He was so kind, generous and loving, and never met a stranger. When I first met Mr. Harris nearly 10 years ago, he encouraged me to continue to write and find my purpose and passion no matter where it might lead. In part, it is because of this wonderful man's encouragement that I found my passion and started a web site to help aspiring writers find their "voice."

He will be missed by many.

Dark Moon said...

Wow. Surprising. I wasn't a fan of his either but I appreciated him opening the dialogue about the DL problem. He was prolific and a gentleman who was light years ahead of Omar Tyree, a study in entitlement and arrogance who publishes nothing but mysoginist doggerel.

RIP.

navas said...

Daniel Bruno Sanz would like to share his Huffington Post essay with you;
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-bruno-sanz/obama-2012_b_234874.html
Please post it on your website and send your link to us for inclusion at DanielBrunoSanz.com
Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/DanielBrunoSanz
Regards,
Navas
Here are the keyords in the essay:
13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, 2012 Election, B.E.T., Barack Hussein Obama, Booker T. Washington, Bryant Park, Cipriani's, Colin Powell, Criminal Industrial Complex, Deb Slott, Do The Right Thing, Heidi Klum, Hip-Hop, Mark Penn, Melting Pot, Pink Elephant, Racism, Reconstruction, Robert Johnson, Seal, Segregation, Shelby Steele, Sidney Poiter, Sonia Sotomayor, Spike Lee, Tavis Smiley, Terrence Yang, The Dance Flick, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Virginia Davies, W.E.B. Dubois, Zero Mostel, Politics
Prologue to Obama 2012
We approach the future walking backwards, our gaze forever fixated on the past. Predicting the future is not a passive exercise; we invent it every day with our actions.
I began the sketches for what would ultimately become Obama 2012 in March 2007, a month after Barack Obama declared his candidacy. I had spent much of the previous 18 months living abroad as an entrepreneur and statesman of sorts, and I was slightly out of touch with the pulse of life on the street in the United States. I learnt about Sen. Barack Obama’s Springfield, IL speech formally declaring his candidacy for president of the United States through one of the international cable news channels and thought how great it would be to have a fresh start after years of mediocrity in Washington and a plummeting reputation around the world.
By September, after what seemed like raising a six-month-old child, my sketches had turned into Why the Democrats Will Win in 2008 the Road to an Obama White House. It was my answer to the burning question everyone had back in March: Can he really win? Actually, not everyone thought it was a question. For many people, including Mark Penn, director of the Clinton campaign, the answer was an easy “no way.” This strategic blunder made it that much easier for the Clinton campaign to be defeated. Then there were Black pundits like Shelby Steele, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, who came out with a 2007 book entitled A Bound Man, Why Obama Can't Win.
Being Black did seem to be an automatic disqualification, but then why did someone need to write an entire book arguing what should have been patently obvious? Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell came to my mind and I remembered that he could have run for president in 1992 as a war hero. But Colin Powell was Ronald Reagan’s protégé and got a special pass on the race question. Black conservatives like Justice Thomas, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell were careful to disassociate themselves from liberal thinkers and activists like Jesse Jackson, who lost, as expected, the 1984 and 1988 Democratic primaries. Ultimately, Colin Powell, in spite of all his honors, declined to run for president. His wife Alma feared for his safety. Common sense said that a candidate like Obama, for numerous insurmountable reasons, didn't stand a chance of winning the Democratic primary, let alone a general election in which 10% of the electorate is African American and Republicans controlled the White House for 20 of the preceding 28 years. But I decided that Obama's chances merited a closer examination. In it, I would bring to bear my gambling skills.

cheapofraud1 said...

On the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, essayist Daniel Bruno Sanz has written a unique piece about the nuclear arms race and the Black experience on film:

  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-bruno-sanz/bad-dreams-from-my-grandf_b_250751.html

You may post it on your website and follow us at Twitter.com/DanielBrunoSanz

Here are the Keywords:
5ive, Adolf Hitler, African-American Poetry, Al-Queda, Albert Einstein, Arch Oboler, Carl Sagan, Charles Bronson, Charles Lampkin, Cosmos, Douglass Macarthur, Elizabeth Montgomery, Emperor Hirohito, Enrico Fermi, Fahrenhei 451, Fat Man, Five, Francois Truffaut, Frank Lloyd Wright, Genesis, Gyokuon-Hoso, H.G. Welles, Harry Truman, Hiroshima, James Anderson, James Weldon Johnson, Julius Rosenberg, Klaus Fuchs, Lavrentii Beria, Leo Szilard, Lord Of The Flies, Los Ultimos Cinco, Manchuria, Manhattan Project, Mao Tse-Tung, Martini Movies, Mokusatsu, Mulholland Highway, Nagasaki, Nietzsche, North Korea, Nuclear Holocaust, On The Beach, Orson Welles, Pearl Harbor, Potsdam Declaration, Reagan, Red Army, Rod Serling, Schopenhauer, Semipalatinsk, Stalin, Stepin Fetchit, Suzuki Kantaro, Taliban, The Day After, The Day The World Ended, Twilight Zone, Uranium Fission, Variety Magazine, Will Smith, Wille Zur Macht, William Golding, William Phipps, Living News

cheapofraud1 said...

On the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, essayist Daniel Bruno Sanz has written a unique piece about the nuclear arms race and the Black experience on film:

  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-bruno-sanz/bad-dreams-from-my-grandf_b_250751.html

You may post it on your website and follow us at Twitter.com/DanielBrunoSanz

Here are the Keywords:
5ive, Adolf Hitler, African-American Poetry, Al-Queda, Albert Einstein, Arch Oboler, Carl Sagan, Charles Bronson, Charles Lampkin, Cosmos, Douglass Macarthur, Elizabeth Montgomery, Emperor Hirohito, Enrico Fermi, Fahrenhei 451, Fat Man, Five, Francois Truffaut, Frank Lloyd Wright, Genesis, Gyokuon-Hoso, H.G. Welles, Harry Truman, Hiroshima, James Anderson, James Weldon Johnson, Julius Rosenberg, Klaus Fuchs, Lavrentii Beria, Leo Szilard, Lord Of The Flies, Los Ultimos Cinco, Manchuria, Manhattan Project, Mao Tse-Tung, Martini Movies, Mokusatsu, Mulholland Highway, Nagasaki, Nietzsche, North Korea, Nuclear Holocaust, On The Beach, Orson Welles, Pearl Harbor, Potsdam Declaration, Reagan, Red Army, Rod Serling, Schopenhauer, Semipalatinsk, Stalin, Stepin Fetchit, Suzuki Kantaro, Taliban, The Day After, The Day The World Ended, Twilight Zone, Uranium Fission, Variety Magazine, Will Smith, Wille Zur Macht, William Golding, William Phipps, Living News

Assistant.to.Daniel.B said...

New essay "The Gates Affair:Why We Care" yours to publish
Dear readers and webmasters,

Author Daniel Bruno Sanz has written an essay about Gatesgate.  We encourage its publication and distribution.
 
                                                          Regards,
 
                                                          Navas S.
 
 
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
 
- 4th Amendment to the The Constitution of the United States of America

Navas said...

New essay "The Gates Affair:Why We Care" yours to publish
Dear readers and webmasters,

Author Daniel Bruno Sanz has written an essay about Gatesgate.  We encourage its publication and distribution.
 
                                                          Regards,
 
                                                          Navas S.
 
 
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
 
- 4th Amendment to the The Constitution of the United States of America

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