With August 2020 in the rearview mirror, I can safely say that it was a rather trash month. Even the gloom and rain of my birthday (the 3rd) had to be lifted by the sunshine of family and friends.
In my last post, I raved about the new work, If I Had Two Wings, by one of my all-time favorite writers, Randall Kenan. After reading (and enjoying!) this latest collection of short stories, I set out to send a note of praise to Randall. But I procrastinated and thought “oh, he’s probably being bombarded right now by the literati and other elites.”
I regret not sending that email.
Randall passed away unexpectedly last Friday. The same day as Chadwick Boseman. This one-two punch to the gut floored me.
Randall’s passing feels personal. He embodied the best of human graciousness in his Black, gay, Southern, brainy-yet-folksy way. Randall was my standard-bearer for the kind of Black gay fiction that celebrates the deep roots of our cultural heritage as well as the aspirational wings of positive possibilities. Who is going to carry that mantle henceforth??
My deepest condolences to Randall’s family, friends, colleagues, and other fans. We will surely miss him.