“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. —James Baldwin
The man we will forever know as Eddie King, Jr., Eddie Kane, Jr. for the country folks, everyone’s favorite character from The Five Heartbeats, has lost his mom, Alberta King.
A star in her own right as the proprietor of Jezebel, a soul food paradise established in 1983 in Manhattan’s theater district, Ms. King, 84, died of heart failure on Friday.
With the aid of investors Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Charles Oakley, Julius Erving and her son Michael, Alberta later expanded Jezebel’s reach to NY’s Upper West Side, as well as Paris, France, but both efforts fizzled. In 2007, Jezebel shuttered.
The Pineville, S. C. native learned to cook by watching her mother, but her deep involvement with the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and subsequent exposure to West African culture provided Ms. King the opportunity to meld those spices with her southern sensibilities.
“My mother worked as a domestic for wealthy white folks,” Ms. Wright once said. “I’d go through the back to the kitchen — we couldn’t go through the front — to where my mother was working, and she’d slip me a muffin.”
I thank God for those mother-daughter moments as Jezebel was one of my regular haunts in the 90s and served my palate quite well.
Ms. Wright is survived by her sons Ronald, Donald and Michael; a sister, Gladys Jenkins; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Let’s have her son take us home: