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As we get older we start to reflect back on the experiences that got us through our childhood like running around the neighborhood before the street lights came on, walking to the corner store, listening to Michael Jackson on cassette tape and watching our favorite “grown up” shows like Martin, Living Single, the Cosby Show and more. I can still watch each one of those shows, repeat every word and laugh like it’s my first time.

(Credit: Giphy.com)

I took a more serious look at the situation and realized a lot of the people I grew up watching are dying at pretty young ages (40’s, 50’s) in the African American community and it is heartbreaking.

Whitney Houston died at age 48; Michael Jackson died at age 50; Bernie Mac died at age 50; Prince died at age 57 and so many more.

Now Thomas Mikal Ford, the actor famous for playing Tommy in the hit sitcom Martin has died on Wednesday, October 12th, he was 52 years old.

Tommy Ford and Terisa Griffin Promotional Visit To Chicago

Source: Raymond Boyd / Getty

This week I was speaking with Karen Vaughn, new Operations Manager for Radio One Philly and we discussed three male Media Legends at Radio One with huge followers that died in the last few years in their 50’s due to a heart attack. Including the Host for Philly Speaks and Marketing Exec for Radio One, late E. Steven Collins (who I miss more than words can describe.) And how hurt and shocked their communities was with their untimely passing.

E. Steven Collins

Source: Philly Speaks

Karen and I brought up how these “bigger than life” people pour into us but we don’t pour back into them, all we do is take and take. And because they are giving people, they allow us to take without asking for anything in return… like time off to rest.

As a black community we need to understand, yes strength and helping people is important but we can’t help if we are hurt or hurting and we need to take care ourselves to be around long enough to watch our efforts grow. And let’s not get started on the importance of visiting your doctor regularly before you start to feel pain.

So let’s do better not only for ourselves but for others!

Our prayers are with his friends and family (Thomas Ford’s rep did not confirm his medical condition, but stated the family will be sending out a statement).

Let’s take a look back at some funny scenes from the Martin Show.

(Video Credit: Youtube.com)

(Credit: Giphy.com)

By: Tiffanie Stanard, Host/Producer @Philly_Speaks @TiffanieStanard

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