WOW! Chris Lighty was found dead yesterday (Sept 30, 2012.) Unless you are a hip-hop head (like myself), you might not know who he is, but you have certainly heard of the artists he has managed over the years. He has worked with Mariah Carey, Fantasia, LL Cool J, Missy Elliot and 50 Cent just to name a few.
He was a brilliant manager and a marketing guru who has shaped careers for many successful artists. He was only 44 when he died. It completely shocked the entire industry.
Cause of death: suicide.
It seems as though suicides have been on the rise lately. Maybe it's because the stigma regarding suicide among the African American community has lightened. Or the current generation is a little more open to discussing a topic that has always been hush hush among the Black community. (Suicide has often been regarded just one of those things that "Black people just don't do".) But I've noticed higher numbers in suicides in the past year.
It's time that we start talking.
I realize that this topic is not easy to talk about, but if a simple discussion could save the life of someone you cared about wouldn't you have it?
Suicide is rarely spontaneous. There are often many warning signs that we can catch if we are in tune with the people around us. But first we need to pay attention. We need to reach out when someone spontaneously crosses our minds. We need to spend more time with our friends and family getting to know them so that when something is wrong we are able to identify it.
There is no quick-fix answer. No text book can tell us how to prevent it. All I know is that it is a problem and the only way to remedy it is to open our mouths and talk!
I wasn't planning to go that deep on you on a Friday before the last long weekend of the summer, but hearing of Lightly death really made me wonder WHY? Why would anyone, regardless of race, age, gender or class consider ending it all as the only option.
I can only hope that his death sheds light on the subject and that somewhere around a dining room table someone is talking about suicide prevention.
Prays and positive vibes to his entire family, and to anyone who has recently lost someone.
RIP Chris Lighty