She “epitomized class, true beauty, and dignity.” Viola Davis wrote as the caption of the precious photo of B. Smith posted on her Instagram page. Celebrities, fans, and entire business & lifestyle community mourn the loss of culture/style guru, television host and business mogul B. Smith. The icon passed away at the age of 70 after a seven year battle with Alzheimer’s.
Her husband lovingly stated “It is with great sadness that my daughter Dana and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith,” Gasby wrote, thanking doctors, caretakers, friends and fans who “helped us make B. comfortable in her final days. … Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile.”
Lady Barbara Elaine Smith was one of the FIRSTS. She was the 1st of African American fashion models, and the 2nd Black Model to grace the cover of Mademoiselle Magazine in 1976. She then started her syndicated television show “B. Smith With Style.” Often referred to as the “Black Martha Stewart,” Smith stated she paved her own way and earned her own title respectively, she also wrote numerous cook books, and created her own home good lines, which was sold in Bed Bath & Beyond and in Walmart.
Lady Smith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2013. She discussed living with the disease in a 2016 book, titled “Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s.”Smith & Gatsby wanted to raise awareness of the issues of the disease and explained in a heartfelt interview with USA Today that “Two out of three people with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Blacks are two to three times more likely to have Alzheimer’s……And it drives people into poverty, in many cases taking away the gains that a sizable and growing portion of people in the African-American community have made.”
Smith’s contributions to African Americans and cultural lifestyle as a whole, is a true testament of inspiration and motivation. As we celebrate Black History Month, she is the definition of African American History. Rest In Peace Queen B. Smith.