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The Black Commentator has lost a founding member, causing us to suspend normal operations 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 is indelible.

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 nobility.

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 his portfolio.

"Survivors’ Positive Thoughts"
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.

will donate one hundred percent of any commission earned from the sale of this work to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

will return next week with a full package of commentary and analysis – all wrapped up in Susan’s loving design.




November 25 2004
Issue 115

is published every Thursday.
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