Meechy Monroe, a popular YouTube vlogger who achieved success with hairstyle tutorials that empowered black women to embrace the natural hair movement, died June 27 at a nursing home in Westmont, Ill. She was 32.
The cause was brain cancer, her mother, Patricia Moore, said.
Meechy Monroe was born Tameka Marie Moore on April 29, 1985, in Chicago. Her mother is an accountant and her father, Alexander Moore, is a retired warranty officer for the Chicago Transit Authority. She graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill.
In addition to her parents she is survived by two other sisters, Katara Giles and Alexandria Moore; a grandfather, Grant Kelly; and a step-grandmother, Rosalind Kelly.
Ms. Colquitt gave Ms. Monroe the nickname Meechy in high school, and she chose the last name Monroe as an ode to Marilyn Monroe.
In 2014, Monroe had multiple strokes and was found to have aphasia, a language disorder that is caused by brain damage. In preparation for brain surgery that year, she shaved the curls that had turned her into a local celebrity and donated them to the nonprofit Locks of Love. A tumor was found during the procedure, and she received a diagnosis of brain cancer.
Through her chemotherapy treatments, she continued to promote the natural hair movement.
“I lost all my hair, I had the worst year of my life,” she told People magazine in 2015. “But you know what? I’m still the same person.”
Monroe was inspired to start her YouTube channel and leave her marketing job after a bad haircut in 2009 prompted her to cut off the tresses she had been perming from the age of 16 and to start over.
She went online to research ideas for what she called her “transition,” and found inspiration in a web community of people who believed that black women should embrace the natural texture of their hair.
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