Black Commentator has lost a founding member, causing us to suspend
for this week’s issue. Susan Gamble, ’s
Art Director and wife of Co-Publisher Peter Gamble, succumbed to
cancer after a five-year battle. Her imprint on this publication
Susan infused our magazine with her own core
values: human equality and the universal right to feel and express
joy and love. Indeed,
as was remarked at her memorial service, “Susan measured her world – our
world – by the presence or absence of love.”
Susan believed in, and practiced, a fundamental reciprocity, a
product of her conviction that human beings conveyed dignity to
themselves and others by sharing things of value, and placing the
highest value on things that are shared. She shared her exquisite
aesthetic sensibilities with ’s
readership, constantly striving to create a warm and welcoming
setting that respects the visitors’ intelligence and essential
Susan’s presence enriched and inspired us;
most of all, her husband and soul-mate of 25 years, Peter.
Susan was a graphic artist, landscape gardener and clothing designer.
One of her favorite trees was an Acer griseum or paper bark maple.
It was also the first tree Susan planted in her garden.
The image below is of an Acer griseum at the Morris Arboretum
of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. As a memorial
this tree has been dedicated to Susan by her friend Nina Schneider.
Photograph by Paul Meyer, The Morris Arboretum
Susan's strength, courage and positive thoughts through
her cancer journey inspired many people. Among them was artist
Larry Richardson who added a Triptych (or series of three), to
by Larry Richardson
“Though these images were inspired by a particular
individual, one whom I had never met,” explains Richardson, “I
feel that they are universal in their content and objective.”
Richardson goes on to explain
the imagery in his new work. “I named the triptych Survivors’ Positive
Thoughts because positive thinking helps the healing process. Positive
thoughts are revealed in the images as flowers, soft colors and
parts of the musical score "Libestraum" (Song of Love).
The images of the three women have no hair, which is replaced with
flowers, yet they show incredible strength and courage.”
Because most of Richardson’s work as an artist
puts women in a central position, he often donates a portion of
his profits towards women’s charities. A portion of all revenue
from the sale of “Survivors’ Positive Thoughts” will
benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation.
donate one hundred percent of any commission earned from the sale
of this work to the Breast Cancer Foundation.
return next week with a full package of commentary and analysis – all
wrapped up in Susan’s loving design.