We're sending our love to Kanye West and family after the loss of his mother, Donda West. According to her publicist, Patricia Green, Donda passed away "as the result of complications from a cosmetic surgical procedure."
As the retired chair of the English department at Chicago State University, 58 year old Donda West was a black mother who served as a role model who Kanye not only loved, but respected. It was great to see that in hip-hop when we hear so much about black mothers who are "crack fiends", "locked up", or otherwise absent in the lives of figures like 50 Cent, Keyshia Cole, and others.
Donda was a huge supporter of her son and could be seen with him at the Grammy's, on tour stops, and at book stores all over the country when she promoted her book, Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar.
Donda raised Kanye as a single mother from a young age, and her personal accomplishments are as telling as the accomplishments of her son, who is known to throw in a "mama said..." lyric into many of his most popular songs.
Losing a loved one - a parent - a mother - is one of the most difficult things to get through, but we know what doesn't kill Kanye, will indeed make him stronger. We wish Kayne and his family our deepest condolences during this time. Let's also take the time to celebrate the positive force Donda brought to Kayne and all those she touched.