PAMELA D. BRIDGEWATER TOURE
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TOURE PAMELA D. BRIDGEWATER TOURE An activist lawyer and legal scholar specializing in issues related to reproduction, sexuality, identity, poverty and women's health, passed away on December 27, 2014, in Washington, DC, with her husband by her side. The cause was cancer. She was 45. Born July 22, 1969, to the late Laura Vertell (Clifton) and Richard Bridgewater, she spent her childhood in Jacksonville, Florida, and American Beach. She spent her adult life in Washington and the world. She is survived by her devoted husband, comrade, best friend and law partner, Kweku Atta Toure, Esq., of DC; her step-children, Azania, Diallo and Savanna Toure; and her father, Richard (Nancy) Bridgewater, of Jacksonville. She leaves behind also her brothers, James (Michelin) Ruth and Tommy (Felecia) Bridgewater of Jacksonville; their children, respectively, Brice, Keelee and Shaina Ruth, and Tommy Jr., Christopher, Sean and Justin Bridgewater, all of Jacksonville; and Tommy's children Madeline and Jerome Bridgewater of Germany. Within the Toure, Ford, Bridgewater, Clifton, Haynes and Middleton families, she is survived by a host of relatives across the country, notably aunts Pearline Osborne and Ethel Poenson, uncles Robert Bridgewater and Henry Clifton, cousins Ed Jones, beloved Angela (Philemon) Rheins and Angela's youngest children in particular, Brandon and Xavier. In addition to kin, Pamela is mourned by an elective family of loving friends. Among many, those include Dennis Williams of Brooklyn, NY, whom she cherished as a brother and kindred spirit, and Dorothy Sojourner ("Aunt Dot"), who had been a schoolteacher and mentor to Pamela's mother; when Pam moved to DC, Dorothy adopted Pam, and Pam adopted her. After graduating from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee and working briefly as a commodities trader on the Chicago Stock Exchange, Pamela entered Florida State University Law School, where she received her Jurist Doctorate in 1995. Under the direction of professors Steven G. Gey and Nat S. Stern, she participated in the US Supreme Court case Judy Madsen et al. v. Women's Health Center Inc. Aware Woman Center for Choice, Inc., writing the Statement of the Case section that was argued for the respondents. The decision in the case affirmed in part the right of abortion clinics to defend themselves and their patients from direct obstruction and interference by Operation Rescue and their ilk. Pamela went on to obtain an LL.M from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and became a member of the Wisconsin Bar. While in Wisconsin, concentrating on property law, wills, trusts and estates, she developed a lifelong scholarly interest in the relationship between reproductive freedom and black emancipation, merging both histories in her future work by focusing on the experiences of black women. As a lawyer, Pamela provided legal defense of reproductive health care clinics, service providers and activists, and also provided pro bono legal service and consultation on matters such as estate planning for poor people and people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as legal services for peace activists and activists within the fair trade and globalization movements. As a professor, she inspired students at Northeastern University's School of Law and at American University's Washington College of Law, where she became a tenured law professor by the age of 35. Until illness made continuing at AU impossible, she taught property law, inheritance law, and reproduction and the law. Throughout her career she taught, guest lectured or participated in symposiums at numerous venues, including Harvard University, Boston College, the University of Richmond, West Virginia University and the University of South Carolina. Her involvement in the women's health movement and at the intersection of law, culture, race and reproduction led her to work with leading legal scholars, policymakers, activists and advocates from North America, Europe, Latin America and South Africa. She was an active member of the Society of America Law Teachers (SALT), and collaborated with Doug Colbert, professor of law at the University of Maryland, on the Curriculum Reform Social Justice Project. She routinely spoke on issues regarding reproductive rights on WTTG, Fox News in DC, and was on the board of directors of Kopkind, a summer seminar/retreat project for radical media makers and activists based in Guilford, Vermont. She also belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star. One important law review article, "Ain't I a Slave: Slavery, Reproductive Abuse, and Reparations," published in UCLA Women's Law Journal, sounds the themes at the heart of her book Breeding A Nation: Reproductive Slavery and the Pursuit of Freedom (unfinished when she died), which considers the history of slave breeding and posits the Thirteenth Amendment and subsequent case law as a constitutional basis for reproductive freedom. Pamela was also among a pioneering group defining a new area of legal theory, exploring the relationship between law, social justice and hip hop culture. In the final weeks before her death she was completing work on a critical reader titled Hip Hop and the Law: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement, which she co-edited with Andre Douglas Pond Cummings and Donald F. Tibbs, to be published later this year by the Carolina Academic Press. Pamela married Kweku Toure in 2006. Living in the Penn-Branch neighborhood of S.E. DC, the two worked side by side in the Penn-Branch Citizens Civic Association. They made their home a beautiful place of love, high spirits and community. A memorial service will be held at the Woman's National Democratic Club, 1526 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036 on Sunday February 1, 2015 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.


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Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 16, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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38 entries
January 10, 2020
RIP You're Greatly Miss
Sharon Hunter
Family
February 22, 2016
All the dreams you dreamt you lived...
Rachel
April 20, 2015
You will always remain in our hearts as your light shines ever so brightly.

Deleso and the Girls (Kalifa and Ayanna)
February 1, 2015
Or prayers go out to the family and friends and all who knew and was touched by this awesome person.R.I.P Rest In Paradise.
Vanessa Harried
February 1, 2015
Filled with gratitude to have shared in today's Ring Shout for my beloved Sister Warrior Friend in Reproductive Justice, Pamela D. Bridgewater Toure'. Your brilliant light will continue to shine in all of us. Peace and blessings to all your loved ones.
Lynn Roberts
February 1, 2015
Prayers to the family...so sorry for your loss. Slumber in peace.
Karen Robertson
February 1, 2015
I won't say Rest in Peace because you Lived in Peace and I know your Spirit lives on in every life you touched.
Sharon Johnston
January 31, 2015
You are one of a kind and an inspiration. Thank you for the gift of you. I am forever touched by your laughter and wisdom. I miss you so much. Love always. Michele
Michele Alexandre
January 31, 2015
Professor Bridgewater was a was a scholar, and activist, a professor, a mentor, a creative and thinking person, a writer, a feminist, an artist and a woman I deeply admired. Rest in peace. http://www.kateandneil.com/uncategorized/a-person-the-world-needs-so-badly-is-gone/
Kate Kelly
January 30, 2015
Revonia Warner Cole
Stone Mountain GA
Revonia Cole
January 28, 2015
I am shocked and saddened to learn of Pam's passing. She was one of the regulars at our favorite spot (Mr. Freeman's office) during undergrad at FAMU. She was always a joy to engage in great conversation. May this fine Rattler rest in peace.
Angie Willis-Clay
January 28, 2015
So sadden to hear of your passing . So proud to read of your accomplishments in life. Take your rest my FAMU Sister!
Vanessa Williams Byrd
January 24, 2015
I miss you my friend.
Phyllis R. Williams
January 23, 2015
Thank you, Pamela. You left on the eve of the International Decade for People of African Descent, 2015-2024. We will remember you, your activism, your teaching, scholarship, and writing- especially "Breeding a Nation" (2007).
Marian Douglas-Ungaro
January 23, 2015
I am in shock. God bless you, Pamela, and your family, and our community. "Breeding a Nation: Reproductive Slavery, the Thirteenth Amendment, and the Pursuit of Freedom," Pamela Bridgewater, 2007.
Marian Douglas-Ungaro
January 22, 2015
Pamela's work will live on through her many students and colleagues. I hope that is a comfort to her family.
Jane Scarborough
January 20, 2015
LAST NIGHT I TOLD A FRIEND ABOUT ONE OF MY LITTLE HEAD START GIRLS, WHO WAS DOING GREAT AND WONDERFUL THINGS.SHE LOVED ME DEARLY AND I LOVED HER. TONITE I AM WEEPY BECAUSE I JUST FOUND OUT SHE HAS GONE TO BE WITH AN ALMIGHTY GOD WHO CAN'T MAKE A MISTAKE.I am Pam's head start teacher. Dr. Johnnie M. Stallings jacksonville,Fla.
January 19, 2015
Rest in peace cousin. You will be missed!!!!
Margaret Greene-Willams
January 18, 2015
Beautiful soul, beautiful person. Pam, your infectious smile, easy wit and loving personality will be missed. Thank you for being such a wonderful neighbor.
Baker Family
January 18, 2015
Rest in Peace Pamela. You were taken way too soon. We will all miss your courage, strength, joy, hope, faith, and friendship. God bless you and your family.
Kevin garrepy
January 18, 2015
Rest in Peace. Thank you for your hard work, brilliance, and vision.
Melinda Goodman
January 18, 2015
Rest in Peace cousin. Gone way to soon. You will always be remembered and truely missed.
Patricia Jones-Reaves
January 17, 2015
rest in heaven dear teacher. I was one of your students at Northeastern. E.G.Strother
January 17, 2015
Rest in peace, Pam.
Althelia Tubman
January 17, 2015
My childhood friend will be missed. I thank God for the years we shared around St Paul. God had plucked one of his beautiful flowers which we will truly miss. Praying for you Bridgewater, and Toure family.
Edythe Ransom
January 17, 2015
Wish I would have spent more time with you. There aren't too many as awesome as you were. RIP, cousin!
Lagodia Sewell
January 17, 2015
A scholar, educator & "diva." There was no one like you! You left the universe a smarter and kinder place to be.
Ayanna Smith
January 17, 2015
Rest in Peace Sista!
Derwin Ross
January 17, 2015
Tommy so sorry for your loss and you are in my prayers
Janet Sampson
January 17, 2015
This world has lost a beautiful young woman but heaven has gained one more beautiful soul who will still be working her magic up there. God Bless and RIP Pamela.xoxoxo
Jillian Rudman
January 16, 2015
Pamela was my law school classmate. She was inspirational and interested in women's issues even then. I thought of her often and I am thankful that God allowed our paths to cross. I pray that her family and friends feel God's peace.
Linda Bond Edwards
January 16, 2015
To the family, I am so sorry for your loss, Broadway House is lighting three candles in your loved ones memory.
sheila gordon
January 16, 2015
Pamela will be greatly miss in the family
I think God for using her to touch many people life.
Praying for our family
Love always
Sharon Ruth-Hunter
Sharon Hunter
January 16, 2015
You will be missed sister Pamela.
Sharon
January 16, 2015
Ah, the world has lost a great light and spirit. Sending love and peace to her family.
Quince Hopkins
January 16, 2015
Truly an amazing woman who lived an amazing life! I knew her growing up in Jacksonville, FL and singing in the choir. She was like sister and I loved hanging out with the Bridgewaters. She will be truly missed as she had an impact on the many people she came in contact with. She is definitely unforgettable. Rest in peace, Pam! Gone too soon. "To be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord" Tell Momma Bridgewater that I said hello.
Sheryl Tucker-White
January 16, 2015
Pamela touch the lives of many. She will be missed by all. May she be among those who receive the promise of living the real life.
Annie I.
January 16, 2015
Sleep in Peace
Audra Andrews-Wilson
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