Presente, Steve Gilliard

Steve Gilliard (1966-2007)

[Updated on 6-5-07 for minor syntax errors.]

When I heard the news that Steve Gilliard of The News Blog finally surrendered to his recent illness at the far too young age of 51 41; I was more than a bit saddened.

I was a regular reader of his blog even when it was at Blogger, and I had heard for the past two months a daily account of his degeneration, his surgery, and the prognosis of recovery from his companion and blog co-hostess Jen….but I never anticipated that things would spiral downhill this quick.

Although my own personal politics and outlook was and still remains pretty far to the left of Mr. Gilliard — he was an old school liberal Democrat pragmatist with no love for third parties and Naderites (whom he dismissed as single issue hagglers) — I can say without malice that he was a major pioneer who made it possible for other Black progressive/radical bloggers like me to exist in the first place.

His no-nonsense, no frills philosophy and his low tolerance of BS — not to mention his willingness to take on even friends and allies when needed to set them right about race and class issues — raised the bar for Black progressive bloggers and the blogosphere in general.

And despite his mental toughness, he could also be just as much a sensitive and heartwarming fella, too.

May he hook up with Miss Molly in the afterlife, and both of them make beautiful music together smacking down right-wing nonsense.

His current blog is presently preparing a memorial to his legacy; you can also catch some of his work at the old location of his blog here.

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