Nia Long is mourning a loss that hit close to home. A rep for the actress confirmed to ESSENCE that she lost her beloved father, Doughtry “Doc” Long.
The Roxanne Roxanne actress remembered her father in a heart-tugging statement.
“My father was a master of words, an educator, a mentor and a hero in his community; a poet with stories to tell about the Black experience in America. He wasn’t afraid to raise his fist in solidarity for everything Black and proud,” Long began.
“My sisters Lori [aka comedienne Sommore] and Djamila and I will miss him dearly and are so grateful to have been by his side as he transitioned into eternal peace,” she continued. “I love you Daddy…forever.”
Long also took to Instagram to remember her father by posting a photo of him smiling and wearing a crown. The caption read, “RIP Daddy I love you forever.”
Doc was born in Atlanta, but grew up in Trenton, New Jersey. He was a noted poet, and author of several books, including Black Love Black Hope, Timbuktu Blues, Song for Nia: A Poetic Essay in Three Parts and Rules for Cool.
Although he taught creative writing and literature at Trenton Central High School, he was well-known for his poetry and became a Trenton Poet Laureate.
In 2013, Classic Used Books & Gifts described Doc as a “fantastic poet who exudes integrity and charm.” According to the store’s site, he often discussed his early days in the Peace Corps and brought his jazz band to accompany him during poetry readings at the bookstore, located in his Trenton hometown.
Condolences for the Long family are pouring in on Instagram from celebrities, including Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Snoop Dogg, Tyrese and Gabrielle Union, who wrote in a comment, “I’m so sorry mama.”
Our condolences go out to the entire Long family.