Activist and scholar Marc Lamont Hill's sister died on Dec. 29, just a day after his father's funeral, as shared on Twitter last week. Hill's father, Leon Melvin Hill Jr., died on Dec. 11 at 91. For over three decades, Leon worked in the Philadelphia School District and served as the primary school psychologist for one of the system's districts.
"My sister died this morning. We just buried our father yesterday. This is the cruelest year that I've ever experienced," Hill, 42, wrote on Dec. 30. Hill did not share further details on his sister's death. Many of his Twitter followers offered their condolences. "Oh, my goodness. This is so terrible," Soledad O'Brien wrote. "I'm so sorry, Marc," CNN's Jake Tapper added. "Marc, I'm so sorry. What an awful year and such a tragic way to end it. Know that you are not alone in your grief," Ali Velshi of MSNBC wrote.
Leon died last month from complications of dementia, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. He worked in the Philadelphia school system from 1954 to 1990, starting as a fifth-grade teacher. He later became a school counselor and was inspired to become a school psychologist. "While he enjoyed the classroom, he saw children whose needs weren't being met, and knew it was important to pursue higher education to help meet their needs," Hill told the Inquirer.
I am so sorry for your loss! This is beyond cruel.— Karen Hunter (@karenhunter) December 30, 2020
There were very few Black public school psychologists in Philadelphia at the time. "There were even fewer in the Northeast, which was predominately white," Hill explained. "He felt it was important for white children to get those services, as well. In a way, he was navigating new water." After Leon retired, he owned and managed rental properties, which he sold in the 2000s. The viewing was held on Dec. 29 and a memorial service will be organized once it is safe for large gatherings.prevnext
Marc, I am so very sorry. I don't have the words for your losses. I am just so sorry.— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) December 30, 2020
Hill is an activist, scholar, and professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University. He has also been a political commentator for Fox News and CNN. His most recent book, We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility, was published in November and looks back at the events of 2020, including the George Floyd protests and the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on vulnerable communities.prevnext
I lost 2 sisters, my mother and my aunt this year. I know the pain you feel. And my heart breaks for your family. Sending love into the universe for you and your loved ones.— Deidre Sabatello (@OheeBluis) December 30, 2020
"In the United States, being poor and Black makes you more likely to get sick," Hill recently told The Grio. "Being poor, Black, and sick makes you more likely to die. Your proximity to death makes you disposable. Your disposability makes you more exploitable."prevnext
Marc, I am sorry for the loss of your father and sister. I hope your heart is consoled, at least in small measure, by the many, many people praying for you. May the memories of your dad and sister be a blessing and a source of comfort.— Cornell William Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) December 30, 2020
Lost my 1yr old Christmas Day. This year is the worse. Sending my condolences 💔— Seesee82 (@CSee82) December 30, 2020
My sincere condolences. Cruelest year indeed. Losing a loved one is beyond painful. Sending love & light— 🇺🇸 Tiff 🇺🇸 (@LATiffani1) December 30, 2020