I did not know Karyn Washington, the 22-year-old woman who was the founder of the For Brown Girls website and the creator of the #DarkSkinRedLipProject. But I felt as though I did because of her presence on social media. That is why I was saddened to find out that she died, apparently taking her own life on April 8, 2014, after a bout with depression following her mother’s death.
There have already been various articles and posts stressing the need to address mental health in black communities and to have an open conversation about the often taboo subject of depression, so I will not add another. However, it’s an important conversation to have, and I hope that the discussion continues.
Washington was a source of inspiration. She sought to use social media to empower women and encourage them to love their beautiful dark selves. That’s something to cheer about. But her life ended too soon. I wish that I could write something appropriately profound for this sad occasion, but all I can think of is. . . Rest in Peace.