Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

PASSAGES: Earnest Hite
by Andrew Davis
2008-02-01

This article shared 6425 times since Fri Feb 1, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Earnest Hite, Jr., a prevention coordinator with the organization known as Better Existence with HIV ( BEHIV ) —and a former columnist for BLACKlines and OUTlines ( now Windy City Times ) , passed away Jan. 14. He was 53.

Pictured: Earnest Hite, Jr. ( left ) with Darrell Gordon at a forum in 2007. Photo by Andrew Davis

Hite died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck after losing control of his vehicle and crashing into an oncoming garbage truck on U.S. Route 20 in Porter, Ind., according to The Beacon News.

Porter Police Chief Jamie Spanier told Windy City Times that ' [ a ] t the time of the crash, we had extremely bad weather with the roads being snow-covered and slick. Impact occurred in the garbage truck lane, with the passenger side rear quarter panel of [ Hite's vehicle ] hitting the front of the truck.'

Hite was transported to Porter Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Hite was born Aug. 24, 1954, in Urbana, Ill., the oldest child of Earnest, Sr. and Dorothy L. Patterson Hite.

Hite attended the Champaign, Ill., public schools and graduated from Centennial High School in 1972. He received an associate of arts degree from Parkland College and pursued additional studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago State University and National Louis University.

He worked for many years as an HIV/AIDS health educator and youth worker for community-based groups in east-central Illinois, metropolitan Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area.

He will be greatly missed by his mother, of Champaign; a sister, Karen Hite, of Champaign; and three brothers—Louis Hite, of Birmingham, Ala.; Darryl Hite of Rantoul; and Marvin Hite of Peoria. He was preceded in death by his father and grandparents.

Services were held Sat., Jan. 19, at Salem Baptist Church, 500 E. Park ( on the corner of 5th and Park ) , Champaign, Ill. The burial took place at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Champaign.

ADODI, an organization of which Hite was president during the years 2003-2005, will hold a tribute to him Sat., Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted.

Remembrances

The following individuals either e-mailed or talked with Windy City Times about Earnest Hite. Here are their thoughts:

—John Ryan, executive director of the 1989-1993 cable program The 10% Show, which featured Hite as a co-host: 'I first met Earnest Hite when my television program was seeking new members in 1990. ... We all found out how poetic it was that his name was Earnest because all our experience with him showed us what a very earnest person he was. Here's just one example: Earnest was a co-host with Sarah Siegel and we were shooting promos for an upcoming episode in front of the old Cook County Hospital. After the shoot a group of us was chatting and packing up equipment when Earnest returned with a scruffy man who was earlier hanging around the area in the distance. Earnest introduced us to the man whom he had just met himself. Earnest then matter-of-factly told us that he and his new acquaintance where going to a shelter to see if the man could receive city services there.

That was the kind of person Earnest was. He always wanted to help people. His positive attitude, intelligence and dedication were evident in all the different areas in which he worked. These areas included a support group for young, gay African-American men that he created here in Chicago. He was also an energetic AIDS community activist and organizer. I am sure there were even more community organizations that he worked with. I last ran into Earnest in Washington, D.C., where he was working on yet more social agency work.

Earnest Hite was a bright light in our community whom shall be missed deeply by everyone who knew him.'

—Sarah Siegel, Hite's co-star on the 1989-1993 cable program The 10% Show: 'The thing I loved about co-anchoring with Earnest is that he was so tall. [ Laughs ] However, I am sad to hear about [ Hite's passing ] . He was a wonderful force.'

[ From her blog, sarahsiegelstories.blogspot.com: ] 'Once, I crewed for a segment that Earnest did, featuring Robert Ford, the editor of a Chicago-based literary 'zine called Thing. We went to their apartment to do the videotaping. I can still see Robert Ford's face and body, sitting on his couch: If E. Lynn Harris had been writing then, Robert Ford would have seemed like an anti-character—he had a close-cropped, yet patchy beard and writerly-rumpled clothes over his lanky frame.

Earnest, with his well-kept beard and frequent smile, dignified presence and lucid questions, always was flattered by the camera. How ironic that I never saw his obituary all these years from AIDS and, instead, I had to read of his death in a car crash. God is odd.'

—Benny Montgomery, Jr., constituent services administrator for U.S. Rep. Danny Davis: 'Earnest Hite was an outspoken individual on HIV/AIDS issues as they related to all communities. His thoughts were always insightful and on point. His voice will be sadly missed, but my memories of Earnest will be one of my most precious keepsake.'

—Marc Loveless, activist: 'I [ knew ] Earnest prior to my coming to Chicago and when I got here after he moved to California we stayed in touch. He was the first director of residental serivces for the Kupona Network and I followed after he left that position and so I refered to him. I was so happy when he moved by back. He had a heart full [ of ] love and he deserved love and he sought love and was blessed enough to experience it. Joy is a word that could describe Earnest. Images of his smile and wit of his words are flooding my thoughts. ... I am personally hurt by his lost, but inspired the life he lived.'

—Darrell Gordon, activist: 'I knew him for 23 years and I remember him for his activities with the African-American [ LGBT ] community, [ like ] the Proud Black Gays and Lesbians. ... I think he was forthright, but also gentle, and he was a longtime survivor of HIV. [ His death ] was such a tragic end.'

—Eric Nelson, executive director of Better Existence Through HIV ( BEHIV ) : 'Earnest just had such complete knowledge of what needed to be done [ regarding ] the hoops you need to jump through the CDC and everybody else. ... [ He had ] that ability to put it all together, and it's not always the easiest thing to go from point A, implementing, to point B. He [ also ] had a great attitude, and was always smiling and laughing. He was just great to have around the office.'

—Michael O'Connor, co-founder and president emeritus of the Rocks Coordinating Committee: 'I personally will miss Earnest Hite! And, I and other members of the Rocks Coordinating Coomittee ( RCC ) join the many who are mourning the lost of a dear friend, brother, warrior and counselor, Earnest Hite. ... [ He ] worked tirelessly with so many organizations! He was a giving soul. We at RCC, like many other organizations,will miss Earnest Hites. Many are called but few are chosen—Earnest hites was definitely chosen!'

—Greg Sanchez, BEHIV educational outreach/prevention specialist: 'I am devastated by the loss of our Earnest. He was our fearless leader in [ the ] prevention department at BEHIV but, besides a manager, he was a mentor, a good friend and a great inspiration.

He was passionate about underserved communities, the African-American, Latino, deaf and hard of hearing, seniors, GLBTQ ... people in general.

His love was fluid, moving to and from professionalism and his integrity to serve people in a just way. He was an amazing manager, lifting us up, allowing us to explore our gifts and recognize them and there was no boxing in here, possability was endless. He was a good listener and advocate not just for HIV/AIDS and STDs issues but the rights of people, period. ... I will miss his laugh, his childlike spirit, his leadership, his jokes and his insight. I will Love and miss him immensely. He was a light amongst us.'

—Earl 'Peacock' Battles, activist: 'I pretty much grew up with him. ... [ Hite's death ] was a loss to this community, as well as his friends and family; he was at the height of HIV awareness for the Black community. ... He was very much into his community; he was always that way.'

—Maurice Franklin, activist: 'I'm saddened by the loss of our warrior and brother Earnest Hite. His smile was as radiant as his spirit. There was never a conversation that he and I had where he didn't talk about the high hopes he had for our community. He always had our back.'


This article shared 6425 times since Fri Feb 1, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Author, cultural theorist, scholar Lauren Berlant dies 2021-07-15
- Author, cultural theorist and scholar Lauren Berlant died June 28 in a Chicago hospice facility of a rare form of cancer. They were 63. Berlant (who used they/them pronouns professionally) was born Oct. 31, 1957 in ...


Gay News

Prominent lesbian educator/activist/author Sally Gearhart dies at 90 2021-07-15
- Sally Gearhart—the first out lesbian to receive a tenure-track position at San Francisco State University and a prominent LGBTQ-rights advocate—died July 14, according to The Bay Area Reporter, which cited an email Jean Crosby sent to ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Ray Marchman 2021-06-23
- Ray Marchman, a onetime Chicago resident, passed away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 6. He was 87. According to an obituary on Dignity Memorial's website, Marchman was born in Miami in 1933—the only child of ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Fritzie Fritzshall, Auschwitz survivor, innovator in Holocaust education 2021-06-20
--From a press release - As a Survivor of the Holocaust and the President of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Fritzie Fritzshall devoted her life to combatting hatred and prejudice, inspiring people to become Upstanders instead of bystanders, and speaking ...


Gay News

Fifth annual Pulse Nightclub memorial in downstate Illinois on June 12 2021-06-09
- On Saturday, June 12, at 7 p.m. in Bloomington, Illinois, local organizations will remember the 49 lives lost at the Pulse Nightclub in 2016 with their fifth annual outdoor memorial service, according to a joint press ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Press secretary, LGBTQ passings, poll results, Pride items 2021-05-30
- Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made history as the first gay woman to lead a White House press briefing in the James S. Brady Briefing Room, and the second Black woman to do so, LGBTQ Nation ...


Gay News

Remembering Kay "Tobin" Lahusen 2021-05-29
- Much of LGBTQ history, and history in general, has been lost. Even after photography was invented, the lens (and pen) was often directed subjectively, documenting what the mainstream media thought were the significant moments of the ...


Gay News

White Party organizer Jeffrey Sanker dies 2021-05-29
- Gay circuit-party impresario Jeffrey Sanker—owner of the Los Angeles-based White Party Entertainment company—died May 28 after a long battle with liver cancer, the Los Angeles Blade reported. The Blade said ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Kay "Tobin" Lahusen, a founding mother of the gay rights movement, 91 2021-05-26
- Kay Lahusen, 91, died in gentle hospice care at Chester County Hospital on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, after a brief illness. She was born in Cincinnati in January 1930 and as an infant was adopted and ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Victory Institute, activists pass on, Mikayla Miller, Nina West 2021-05-23
- On May 2, The Victory Institute inducted 21 leaders to its newly formed LGBTQ Victory Hall of Fame, according to PrideSource.com. Twenty members were inducted as part of the founding class while U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Social-justice activist, dominatrix Mistress Velvet dies 2021-05-21
- PASSAGES Social-justice activist, dominatrix Mistress Velvet dies By Carrie Maxwell Social-justice activist and dominatrix Mistress Velvet (who used they/them pronouns) died by suicide May 9 in Chicago. They were 33. ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Lesbian-feminist musician, activist Alix Dobkin dies 2021-05-19
- Lesbian singer-songwriter and feminist activist Alix Dobkin died May 19 due to complications from a brain aneurysm and stroke. She was 80. Dobkin—who was known by many as the Head Lesbian—was born Aug. 16, 1940 in ...


Gay News

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood dies at 66 2021-05-19
- Corinne Wood, the former Illinois lieutenant governor under Gov. George Ryan, died after a 15-year battle with breast cancer, CBS Chicago reported. She was 66. Wood served as the state's first female lieutenant governor from 1999 ...


Gay News

Actress Olympia Dukakis dies at 89 2021-05-01
- Olympia Dukakis—who won an Oscar for her supporting role in the 1987 hit Moonstruck and starred in Look Who's Talking and Mr. Holland's Opus as well as iterations of TV's Tales of the City—died May 1 at her home in New York City ...


Gay News

PASSAGES: AIDS activist, anti-imperalist organizer Tryfan Morys Eibhlyn Llwyd 2021-04-25
- Longtime AIDS activist and anti-imperalist organizer Tryfan Morys Eibhlyn Llwyd (also known as Arawn Eibhlyn, and who uses the pronouns they/them/their) died March 3 in Louisville, Kentucky due to natural causes. They were 70. Llwyd was ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.