Photo credits: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Per a report released February 15, 2022, by Publisher’s Weekly, Valerie Boyd (pictured) died on February 12, 2022, at 58 years of age after a longtime bout with cancer.
Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston was written by Boyd (2003, Scribner). She is also the editor of the forthcoming Alice Walker Journals 1965-2000: Gathering Blossoms Under Fire (2022, S&S). At the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, Boyd taught magazine writing, arts reviewing, and narrative nonfiction.
She was a Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence and an associate professor. She also served as a consultant for The Zora Neale Hurston Trust and taught creative writing at Antioch University’s graduate writing department in Los Angeles, California. Boyd was a talented cultural critic and journalist.
Boyd authored essays, articles, and reviews in a range of magazines and newspapers. Step Into a World: A Global Anthology of New Black Literature also included her work (2000, Wiley). At the time of her death, she was writing on an anthology titled Bigger Than Bravery: Black Resilience and Reclamation in a Pandemic.
Alice Walker, Jelani Cobb, Lauren Michele Jackson, Kima Jones, Deesha Philyaw, Jason Reynolds, Craig Seymour, and Danyel Smith, among others, expressed their sympathies on social media and through public statements. Boyd will be memorialized at a commemorative event in the coming weeks, according to Publisher’s Weekly.
Boyd’s supporters are encouraged to donate to the Black Women’s Health Imperative in her memory.