Updated Monday, June 18, 2012, 3:40 p.m.:

(The Root) — A spokesman from the Miami Beach police department told The Root that Kennedy's death is being classified as a "death investigation pending toxicology results." There were no signs of foul play, according to authorities. Miami Beach police received a call a short time after 12 p.m. on Monday, June 11, to come to her apartment, where she had been discovered deceased by maintenance workers from the building, who reported smelling a "foul odor."


Results from toxicology reports take four to six weeks, police said.

"There was no sign of break-in," Sgt. Bobby Hernandez told The Root. "It could be medical-related or it could be a suicide if we find that she had drugs in her system that's not conducive to taking a couple extra aspirin, where it’s obvious she ingested a certain drug too much."

If the latter is the case, Hernandez added that authorities would interview her relatives to see if she had a history of depression or if she attempted a suicide before.

Updated Monday, June 18, 12:32 p.m.

(The Root) — Speaking on behalf of the family of Erica Kennedy (Johnson), her aunt Sarah Robinson — known to family and friends as Aunt Porgy — issued this statement:

It is with great sadness that we announce that Erica Kennedy passed away in Miami Beach, Florida, last week. We are devastated by this incredible loss. Erica was bright, funny, talented, thoughtful and passionate. In her 42 years, she lived many lives as a fashion publicist, a journalist, a novelist, a blogger, a brand consultant, and a social media connector. But perhaps her most remarkable accomplishment was the indelible mark she has left on the lives of so many people across the globe.

We love Erica and, like her countless friends and colleagues, we will miss her. However, we ask that you respect our family’s privacy during this very difficult time.


In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to Groundwork Opportunities or Brooklyn Children's Museum at 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213.

Updated Saturday, June 16, 12:59 p.m.

(The Root) — Erica Kennedy, an author and blogger best known for popular novels Feminista and Bling, has died. She resided in Miami Beach and was 42 years old at the time of her death, according to a family member. Additional details on the circumstances are not available yet.


A former fashion publicist, Kennedy started her writing career as a special correspondent for the New York Daily News. She went on to write about fashion and entertainment for magazines such as Vibe, In Style, Paper and Elle UK, according to her website.

In 2004 she published a satire on the high stakes world of hip-hop with her debut novel, Bling, which went on to become a New York Times best-seller. Five years later she released her second novel, Feminista, a story about smart, modern women. Fellow author Rebecca Walker interviewed Kennedy for The Root in 2009.


According to Dr. Goddess:

We will hear much more about what happened in the future but as someone who archives and talks about "the bombastic brilliance of Black Twitter," I found myself scrolling through Erica Kennedy’'s timeline and laughing, smiling and crying. She was young, beautiful, talented, brilliant, all of that. Erica arrived on Twitter, initially, as @Feminista09 and then moved to @ericajk.


We'll bring you updates to this sad story as they come in. In the meantime, read more on Dr. Goddess' blog and at Bassey's World.

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