A tribute to Lewes’ Leonia Robinson

April 22, 2022

This is not an obituary for Leonia Robinson. There are those in the Lewes community who have known her for far longer and can recount the details of her life far better than me. Rather, it is a tribute to a pillar of the Black community who was known by Blacks and whites alike, particularly through her extemporaneous rapping on any subject at any event, whether it be private or public. When I think of Leonia, I think of her fervent faith as a member of St. George AME, her loud voice either singing gospel songs and saying "Amen," or reciting an on-the-spot poem. I think of how she dressed for church from head to toe like we did in the past.

She was also a friend of mine who was one of the few people in my neighborhood who felt comfortable just dropping by. We marveled at our differences, but I am proud to say she called me her "sister" and my husband her "brother," as she did others who she favored. Because of her long-lived life, she told me many stories of Lewes during the Jim Crow era as well as talked about her relationship with our mayor. She had recently lost her mother after a long illness, where she acted as a truly devoted daughter. She was a bridge between the past and the future generations, and I will sorely miss her. I know she was a mother and had a professional career, but I leave it to others to fill in those blanks.

"Til we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand." 

Alicia Jones
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