Re: Finding Elizabeth Wright…who died August 11th in Brooklyn



Thanks for this information regarding Elizabeth Wright.  I appreciate your tenacious efforts to try to track down what the real story is about this most unusual woman.

You’re right that we need to do something to see that a fitting burial and some form of memoralization takes place.

I will be glad to help.

I believe Chuck Demastus will be interested in the information you have shared.  He could be a help in the efforts to enhance what you’re trying to do.  There are others who I believe, once knowledgeable, would be
willing to help as well.

It also occurs to me that the Booker T. Society, if they are active at all, could be helpful.

Thanks again for what you’re doing.



"The office of the chief medical examiner said that Wright’s body is currently “on hold” in a city mortuary in Brooklyn because she apparently had no financial assets, and will likely be eventually buried in Potter’s Field."

Dear folks, the contact email on her website has been bouncing back for some time now, so I had kind of assumed the worst. But I was surprised to finally hear she had died only a week age from Michael Santamauro
which included the first photo had ever seen.

I was sent a copy of her last blog communication that she was going into hospice. The very private lady stayed that way to the end.

In trying write something on her as a retrospective all I had to work with was her Issues and Views archive, which hopefully has been saved on the service that stores all the old web stuff. All of her fans have read
all their material already, so I ventured to see if I could find out who the private Ms Wright was. But began hitting dead ends.

All the online obit material repeated that no one had actually ever met her, even when in NY City and attempting to. So for some mysterious reason she wanted to direct contact with her Booker T. crew mates.

Left only with her website to track her down I started with the Booker T. Washington Society with their director, a retired Army officer in Vermont…and surprise…he had never met her either, despite their awarding a Booker T. writing award annually. But he did have an NY City name for me with whom I had a call today.

First up was her semi nome de plume Elizabeth D. Wright was actually Doris Elizabeth Wright. This gentleman had actually met her five times, meeting first a Booker T ceremony in the 70’s with his son attending and
where he first met Wright. But he had no idea what kind of work that she did. He was able to pass me on a closer contact who had been helping her in her last days so I am trying to contact him to learn more.

But I did Google her real name and found a Brooklyn obit as sadly learned her body is still being held for claim and will be heading to Potter’s field. It seems her breast cancer had cleaned her funds out and she was estranged from her original family. Maybe we might be able to do something there now that we know. With all the folks that she published since she began Issues and Views it seems we might all be able to get
her buried somewhere.

This first obit mentioned that her neighbors did not view her as a recluse, so they might not have known about her writing and kept the two lives separate.  I will try to see what the holding period is on her remains and talk to
her last helper to see if he has been in touch with any relatives. It could be that nothing was done because she simply did not care…or her illness and lack of close friends just left everything up in the air.

But I thought I would give you the news as to where I am so far. Let’s see if we can do a little better than potter’s field for the lady, even if she did not care…she touched a lot of lives.

I think the best tribute for her is to preserve her work in a fitting place in an updated website where it is not buried and lost.

"But Cartrell Gore, 59, of Flatbush, a high school teacher and local politician, was friends with Wright for 20 years. He said she was not a recluse, and that neighbors knew her as “a nice old lady.” “She grew up on welfare

[in Virginia],” Gore said. “Her siblings decided to stay on welfare, and she decided to work for a living. So because of that when she left for college, she never looked back or contacted her family after that. “The office of the chief medical examiner said that Wright’s body is currently “on hold” in a city mortuary in Brooklyn because she apparently had no financial assets, and will likely be eventually buried in Potter’s Field."

Jim Dean

Issues & Views – The Archive