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Thread: Cheryl Byron, 56, dies in New York

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    Registered User brownskintrini's Avatar brownskintrini is offline
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    Cheryl Byron, 56, dies in New York

    Cheryl Byron, 56, dies in New York

    By Terry Joseph

    LESS THAN a month after the death of Ann Marie Inniss, Cheryl Byron, another Trinidad-born artiste living in the US, died at 10.30 a.m. yesterday at New York's Long Island College Hospital.

    Byron, 56, had recently been discharged from the hospital but returned last weekend after her health worsened. Having suffered from a stomach malfunction that turned cancerous, her kidneys later failed, requiring dialysis. On Monday night, she suffered a cardiac condition.

    Sister Nydia, best known locally as the limbo queen, is also in New York but was yesterday too distraught to speak. Along with Nydia were sisters Christine and Valerie who are resident there and had gone to break the news to their mother, Beulah Byron. Their father passed on many years ago.

    New York-based cultural activist Dawad Phillip was just leaving Brooklyn to go visit Cheryl when news of her death broke: “Brooklyn’s creative community will surely miss her,” Phillip said. “Everyone had been hoping, even in the circumstances, that she would come out of this, as she had done in so many other health crises.

    “I saw her and we spoke recently. She was feeling well but there was swift deterioration,” he said. “She was a cultural force within the community, especially among youth to whom she was both mother and teacher and, come Labour Day time, mas band leader with a stringband of young people in tow.

    It is truly heartbreaking,” Phillip said.

    The local arts community was equally astonished. Singer Mavis John was dumbfounded. Opera singer Ann Fridal, whose New York address made her Byron’s neighbour, was reluctant to believe the news. Artist Le Roi Clarke described Byron as “a gift of a wonderful spirit”.

    Clarke said: “Andre Tanker, then two breaths ago it was Ann Marie Inniss, s..t, now Sister Cheryl Byron. Another artiste dead in the wilderness, far from home appreciation, alone in the open, seeking a name for self and country. She was a gift of wonderful spirit.”

    Long time friend, choreographer Carol la Chapelle said: “I just freaked on hearing the news. I had heard she was taken back to hospital and this morning I was looking at a fabulous picture sitting on my television set of us playing mas. She was there with the broad smile, her round face looking like nothing could go wrong. That is the image that will live with me.”

    Byron, an ordained Reverend Mother in the Spiritual Baptist Faith and an adjunct professor at Medgar Evers College and the College of New Rochelle in Brooklyn, came to fame here as a multi-faceted artiste and pioneered the inclusion of poetry in calypso tents.

    Flambouyant in dress and overall style, Byron became well-known for her support of black causes and focused her energy on guiding children. Upon migration to the US, she founded Something Positive Inc, a vibrant, inter-generational, community-based, not-for-profit arts and education organisation, dedicated to the promulgation of culture of the African Diaspora and its cross-cultural influences.

    She also taught at City College and New York Tech and was completing a dissertation at NYU for a PhD in Performance Studies with a Certificate in Museum Studies.

    Byron started her career in visual arts here in Trinidad, studying dance with Neville Shepard and acting with the Caribbean Theatre Guild. While on tour in New York, her artwork won her a scholarship to the New School, where she studied fine art. She then obtained BA and MA degrees in English from City College (CUNY) while maintaining her professional life, including her pioneering work in rapso and dub poetry.

    Funeral arrangements will be announced later this week.

  2. #2
    Puma Power Posse-NY Angie Fyah's Avatar Angie Fyah is offline
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    May she rest in peace...She's in a better place now.

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    He loves me! bagolicious's Avatar bagolicious is offline
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    ah was in the dance groupp... may she rest in peace.... she's in a better place now...bless her family...help them to get through this..death is not and easy thing to live with....but such is life.. we came from the dust and must return to it...
    she was ah good lady..she had ah cheerful spirit, and always reached out ah hand to help, someone..... she would be missedd...
    lord bless..micheal(her right hand man)
    suzie, bagogyul...and all the other members.. help them through the grief..
    Last edited by bagolicious; 06-18-2003 at 11:29 AM.

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    For the Love of Music!!! GeeDawg's Avatar GeeDawg is offline
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    I heard this yesterday and hoped that it wasn't true.

    May she Rest in Peace

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    Member excl8tr's Avatar excl8tr is offline
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    cheryl would be missed by all who grew to love her. she was a dedicated woman, i would know, i spent two summers in a row making costume for the kiddies carnivaland also the dance class they had in our school.on behalf of the staff of liberty partnernership program at medgar evers high school(96-98) our condolences goes out to her family.

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    Empress at large Mrs_Scorpion's Avatar Mrs_Scorpion is offline
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    Oh gosh!!!! What a beautiful person Cheryl was. She will be missed. May her soul rest in peace.

  7. #7
    Shitsuren Kyuka RenzePenze's Avatar RenzePenze is offline
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    Originally posted by bagolicious
    ah was in the dance groupp... may she rest in peace.... she's in a better place now...bless her family...help them to get through this..death is not and easy thing to live with....but such is life.. we came from the dust and must return to it...
    she was ah good lady..she had ah cheerful spirit, and always reached out ah hand to help, someone..... she would be missedd...
    lord bless..micheal(her right hand man)
    suzie, bagogyul...and all the other members.. help them through the grief..
    Oh my god!!! I am in complete shock here.... May she rest in Peace....

    'licious i didn't know you danced wit her... so have I for a few summers when i have visited... Condolences to her group, to her family from me and my dance company (TAPA)
    The saint and the sinner are just exchanging notes. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

    The matador wins by avoiding the bull not colliding with him!

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    He loves me! bagolicious's Avatar bagolicious is offline
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    Originally posted by bunjigarlindarlin
    Oh my god!!! I am in complete shock here.... May she rest in Peace....

    'licious i didn't know you danced wit her... so have I for a few summers when i have visited... Condolences to her group, to her family from me and my dance company (TAPA)
    yeah girl i did for ah while...ohhhmeh stomach feeling funny...me and bago was always up in she house..dey called us from the hospital and told us she was dying...but we didnt know for sure...she was going to leave us so soon..

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    Shitsuren Kyuka RenzePenze's Avatar RenzePenze is offline
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    Originally posted by bagolicious
    yeah girl i did for ah while...ohhhmeh stomach feeling funny...me and bago was always up in she house..dey called us from the hospital and told us she was dying...but we didnt know for sure...she was going to leave us so soon..
    i know the feeling.... i swear a next one and i dunno what i goh do... i just called home and told them... they going crazy themselves... sigh...
    The saint and the sinner are just exchanging notes. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

    The matador wins by avoiding the bull not colliding with him!

  10. #10
    An Ivy of Class classyivy1's Avatar classyivy1 is offline
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    I just got this news....May God Bless Ms. Byron's soul. She will certainmly be missed especially given all she has done for our community and youth. She may be gone but her legacy will certain live on..


    Bunjidarlin, Bago...I too danced with Cheryl when I was younger. When she used to hold rehearsals at the Rainbow Palace (I think that's the name).

  11. #11
    Registered User CARAMELSISTA's Avatar CARAMELSISTA is offline
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    Oh gosh, I feel like I'm going to be sick!

    She was such a sweet and loving person. May her legend live on and may she REST IN PEACE.

  12. #12
    Ghost Crew Finest! Mrs.Bling's Avatar Mrs.Bling is offline
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    R.I.P
    SHE WAS A TALENTED WOMAN

  13. #13
    BANNED Short_Thing's Avatar Short_Thing is offline
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    May she rest in peace!!!!!!!!!!! She will be missed that was one of my first professors at medgar, i use to look forward to speech class. She was such a nice person, always smiling and happy go lucky. Does anyone have any info on the funeral ceromony ??

  14. #14
    ThE pOsT JaCkInG aSsAsSiN Notorious's Avatar Notorious is offline
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    I also had her for class...She will Be Missed, Very Strong Trini Woman...She will be missed!!! I think there is a viewing tonight

  15. #15
    Dis Girl is POISON! SweetPea's Avatar SweetPea is offline
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    my condolences n sympathy... RIP.... http://www.angelfire.com/art/Somethi...ve/Cheryl.html

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