Beloved metro Detroit educator and poet Brenda Perryman dies of coronavirus


Tributes from community leaders and former mentees have been pouring in since Sunday's news that Southfield educator, poet, and public access talk show host Brenda Perryman died on Sunday due to coronavirus complications.

Perryman, a retired speech and drama at Southfield High School, was also a celebrated poet who authored of Mood Swings and Magic Carpet Rides, Moods for You, and Tender Ravings. She also was host of Table Talk with Brenda Perryman on Detroit's WHPR network, where she conducted interviews and discussions with local community leaders and artists.

“I am so saddened by the news of my dear friend Brenda Perryman passing away,” poet and activist jessica Care moore wrote on Facebook. “She was at my baby shower in Detroit & loved on me & my son when we moved back home. She had just asked me to do her tv show to promote my book. An educator, poet & true Detroit lover. We will miss you so much. This is unreal.”

Over the years, Perryman also established herself as an educational speaker on women's inspirational issues, domestic violence, diabetes, and using poetry as a means of catharsis. She was also the recipient of several “Spirit of Detroit” Awards and had been previously acknowledged by the local NAACP chapter as its most outstanding member.

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence also took to Twitter to express condolences.

“Your dedication to building up the community you served will never be forgotten.”

Audra Kubat, singer-songwriter and founder of the Detroit House of Music project, hailed her mentor for her nurturing spirit and credits Perryman for being the first to encourage her to “take the stage” in high school.

“She and I stayed in touch all these years. She would offer guidance when I needed it and she would listen when I had something to say,” Kubat wrote. “We shared a birthday — ‘my Gemini sister’ she would call me. I can’t believe you are gone. Too soon my friend — your laughter, love, and light shine still.”

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