Kevin Weston, a 45-year-old black Bay Area journalist who paved the way for countless young people (including myself) to tell their stories, died of cancer late Sunday night. Among the many tributes that have popped up in his honor are this one, by YO! Youth Outlook alum Russell Morse:
Kevin’s work at New America Media was reflective of the times we were living and working in. The first decade of the 21st century was an incredibly violent, tumultuous time and Kevin saw and professed a connection between violence in poor communities and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He encouraged us, as reporters, to find global connections to the local stories we pursued.
…The Youth Communications projects of NAM came about in the early 1990s, when America’s young Black men were sensationally and shamefully characterized in the mainstream media as “Super Predators.” Sandy Close’s counter was that this generation of young people was not super-predatorial, they were super-communicative. Kevin was a supercommunicator: a journalist, a rapper, an editor, a DJ, a public speaker and a conversationalist who lived to engage the world, challenging hypocrisy and abuses of power right up to his final days.