Steve Gilliard transcended his illness this past weekend and began his journey home. Steve was a hero to many in the netroots. He blogged at DailyKos before blogging was cool and helped to define the quality of intellectual rigor and discourse among left-leaning blogs. And he just so happened to be black and later became an influential, outspoken leader against the Iraq War delivering insightful coverage and analysis from his own blog “The News Blog“. How sorry I will be to see this site go dark.

CrabLaw has a great piece on Steve’s impact that speaks for so many people in the blogs. Thanks for sharing it with me, Bruce. Steve was truly a pioneer. Not just as a “black blogger”. As a consistently incisive blogger and accurate journalist. Period. PastorDan over at DailyKos posted a lovely poem for a soldier who’s crossed over.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
On the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.
My Spirit is still alive.

I hope Steve would be glad to know about the Afrosphere (nice post Jared) and the legion of African-American blogs that have him to thank in part for kicking open the door. As a military buff, perhaps a hearty “I am Spartan!” is in order as the last salute to his work as we begin to fill the void left by his passing.

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