CSMS Magazine Staff WritersAuthor Bebe Moore Campbell died of complications from brain cancer at her home in Los Angeles on Monday. She was 56. We all came to know this fascinated writer through her intriguing comments on National Public Radio, where she was a commentator for many years. Bebe was a writer who spoke from the heart. In addition to being an author, she was also an advocate for the mentally ill.”Stigma is one of the main reasons why people with mental health problems don’t seek treatment or take their medication,” Campbell said. “People of color, particularly African Americans, feel the stigma more keenly. In a race-conscious society, some don’t want to be perceived as having yet another deficit.”Bebe Campbell was a respected journalist, who has had a prolific career in several mediums: newspapers, books and in broadcasting. As a journalist, she has written articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Essence, Ebony, Black Enterprise, and others. As a regular commentator on NPR’s program Morning Edition, Campbell has tackled such topics as domestic abuse, racial integration, and her “own claustrophophia.”Her repertoire holds several books, including “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine,” for which she won a NAACP Image Award. Other important manuscripts are her memoir, Sweet Summer, Growing Up With and Without my Dad, and her first book, Successful Women, Angry Men: Backlash in the Two-Career Marriage, which was nonfiction.Bebe was also a novelist whose novel “What You Owe Me” was a New York Times bestseller as well as a LA Times “Best Book of 2001.”Ms. Campbell’s interest in mental health was the catalyst for her first children’s book, Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry, which was published in September 2003. This book won the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Outstanding Literature Award for 2003. The book tells the story of how a little girl copes with being reared by her mentally ill mother.The literary community first learned about Bebe’s condition last March when her husband, Ellis Gordon Jr., released a statement to the media, announcing that his wife “was recently diagnosed with a neurological condition that [required] her full attention for recovery.”Ms. Campbell was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh. She had been living in Los Angeles with her husband, Ellis Gordon Jr. She has a son and a daughter.
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