The end of 2020 has been an especially tough time for journalist and activist Marc Lamont Hill. The Morehouse College alumnus just recently shared that not only has his father recently passed away, but his sister as well.

Marc Lamont Hill

Hill opened up about the terrible news Wednesday morning with a somber tweet.

“My sister died this morning. We just buried our father yesterday. This is the cruelest year that I’ve ever experienced,” he shared.

The sad news comes at the end of a year that hasn’t been very positive for most people. As an activist Hill was had much to handle during the tumultuous 2020 U.S. presidential election 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has halted plans and become a dangerous challenge as well.

Hill announced his father had passed on December 11, just a few days before his birthday on December 17.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Hill’s father, Leon Melvin Hill Jr. was a pioneering educator in Philadelphia. As reflected in his son, Hill was known to be patient, but disciplined.

“While he enjoyed the classroom, he saw children whose needs weren’t being met, and knew it was important to pursue higher education to help meet their needs,” said Marc Lamont Hill of his father.

Leon Melvin Hill Jr., courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer

The senior hill had a lengthy career with the School District of Philadelphia, which lasted from 1954 to 1990. He started as a fifth-grade teacher and eventually came a school counselor. Like his son, he was also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

“He was a proud Kappa and one of the city’s most widely regarded and known Black educators,” said the younger Hill.

According to Shondaland, before his father’s passing, Hill shared how said he was that his father was alone and could not receive any visitors due to the virus. He shared this in an opening essay as part of his new book “We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, & Possibility,” which Hill wrote will he actually was battling COVID. Considering Hill’s father struggled with dementia, the book reflects the challenging state of black health disparities and how the pandemic has affected people in that demographic.

“In the United States, being poor and Black makes you more likely to get sick. Being poor, Black, and sick makes you more likely to die. Your proximity to death makes you disposable,” he shares in the book.

It is unclear what led to the passing of Hill’s sister just this morning, but we will keep his family in our prayers.