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We are losing so many promising people to coronavirus that it feels unreal. 

The city of Detroit is mourning Marlowe Stoudamire. An advocate for young Black people, he dedicated his life to seeing those around him reach their full potential.

“Stoudamire was an entrepreneur who worked in many fields throughout his career — at a major hospital, as a business consultant, and as a developer of a prize-winning historical exhibition,” Buzzfeed writes, adding “His driving passion throughout this work, said his friends and colleagues, was to build up the community and promote the talent of black Detroiters.”

Eric Thomas, who saw Stoudamire as a father figure, big brother, and business partner, told the site the late pioneer “saw you before you saw yourself.” One of Stoudamire’s best known projects was called the Roster Detroit, which started as a way to highlight Detroit talent after Amazon passed on the city for its new headquarters.

“It began as a project on his Facebook page in February 2019, where he’d write profiles of black Detroiters with big potential,” Buzzfeed goes on to say. “He started the initiative after Amazon reportedly rejected Detroit’s bid to house the company’s new headquarters because it believed the city didn’t have enough talent, according to the Detroit News. ‘Marlowe was like, ‘What the hell, man!’ said Brian Bono, who became Stoudamire’s partner on the Roster Detroit project. Stoudamire initially focused on raising the profiles of black men, Bono said, because he wanted to encourage a culture of men lifting each other up. But the project eventually became so broad that they planned to turn it into a business, connecting talented Detroiters with work.”

Marlowe Stoudamire was a rare gem, who we hate to see go. He passed away from COVID-19 on March 24 at 43 years old. See his photo here and may he rest in peace.