Aishah Rahman

Obituary
  • "Aishah lived around the corner from me during her year in..."
    - Cynthia Simmons
  • "With deepest sympathy to the family. I met Ms Rahman in the..."
    - Nina Birdow
  • "I will never forget her steadfast generosity. Rest now,..."
  • "Aisha, I am happy to have known you. Leon Denmark"
    - Leon Denmark
  • "Oh! moments of silence pierce my heart! Love you and will..."

1936 - 2014
Aishah Rahman was born in Harlem on November 4, 1936 and died December 29, 2014 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She had moved there in December 2013 after retiring as a Professor at Brown University. An accomplished playwright and author, Aishah was a Professor of Literary Arts and taught at Brown from 1992-2011. A graduate of Howard University and Goddard College, Rahman, along with Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Sonia Sanchez and others was active in the 1960's Black Arts Movement. She described her writing as adhering to a "jazz aesthetic," and was the author of numerous plays, including the dramas "Unfinished Women Cry In No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in Gilded Cage, " "The Mojo And The Sayso," "Only in America," "Chiaroscuro" and 3 plays with music, "Lady Day A Musical Tragedy," "The Tale of Madame Zora" and "Has Anybody Seen Marie Laveau?" Her plays were produced at the Public Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, BAM and theaters and universities across the United States. She served as director of playwriting at the New Federal Theater in New York. Among her numerous fellowships, grants and awards are a special citation from the Rockefeller Foundation of the Arts for dedication to playwriting in the American Theater. Her plays are distributed by Broadway Play Publishing. Chewed Water: A Memoir, the story of growing up in Harlem in the 1940's and 50s, was published in 2001 by University of New England Press. A dedicated mother, a beloved friend, great raconteur, and passionate mentor, she is deeply missed. Rahman is survived by a daughter, Yoruba Richen, a son, Kevin Brown, grandchildren Thalia Zephyrine and Ishyah Yisrael and great grandchildren; Thelonious Gatling, Amir Yisrael-Mosby, Eliyahkim Yisrael, Jelani-YechiYAH, Neriyah Yisrael. A memorial will be held at the Schomburg Library at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard on Feb. 15 at 2pm.
Published on NYTimes.com from Jan. 14 to Jan. 15, 2015