AimÃ© Jero Ellis died at his home in Lansing, Mich., on May 26, 2009 following a year-long battle with bile duct cancer. He was 39.
AimÃ© was an associate professor of English and core faculty in African and African American Studies at Michigan State University whose scholarship focused on practices of freedom and experiences of violence and incarceration in Black history and popular culture in the United States. He was an engaged and passionate teacher who transformed the lives of students in Texas, Kentucky, and Michigan.
A talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist, AimÃ© drew on cultural traditions of the Black Atlantic as well as contemporary punk and pop to create a body of songs he recorded as AimÃ© Ellis and the Pleasures of Exile.
AimÃ© was born in Seattle, Wash., one of two sons to Ora J. Ellis and Kenneth Ellis. He had a strong sense of style from a young age, beginning during his first years of school in Jamaica. His musical gifts first became apparent after the family moved to Saudi Arabia, where he joined his schools choir at the age of 12.
He received his BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and his PhD from the University of Texas, Austin. His first teaching position was at the University of Kentucky. He joined the MSU English Department in 2001.
It was in Kentucky where AimÃ© first met Amanda MacheÃ© York. They married in a small ceremony at the St. John's Courthouse in Clinton County, Mich., on February 27, 2009. On May 24, a host of family and friends celebrated their marriage at their home in Lansing. To view the video aired at the wedding party please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUv81DIz ... re=related
AimÃ© Ellis lost his brother, Ian Alexander Ellis, in 2007. AimÃ© is survived by his wife, Amanda York Ellis of Lansing; nephews Dylan Ellis of San Antonio, Texas and Isaiah and Levi Ellis of Dallas, Texas; his mother, Ora J. Ellis of Garland, Texas; his father, Kenneth Ellis of Old Harbour, Jamaica; extended family and scores of beloved friends.
We mourn a loving, loyal, brilliant, and compassionate man.
Video tribute by Ashley York.