Tisha Campbell-Martin Battles With Life Threatening Disease


 by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World

Forgive me for generalizing, but if you’re black, you probably love Tisha Campbell-Martin.   Campbell-Martin is best-known for her role in the hit TV show “Martin” in the 1990s (or pronounced “Mar-innnn” for the ebonically-challenged).  Tisha was also the star in movies like House Party and School Daze.   As pretty as the day is long, Tisha has been entertaining America for at least two decades.

Sadly, Tisha has been diagnosed with Stage 2 Sarcoidosis, an inflammation of the organs, which is the same disease that killed the late Bernie Mac.  Death can occur from complications in the lung’s, heart or brain, according to experts.  BlackDoctor.org says that the disease is 10 times more common in African Americans than whites and twice as likely in black females than males.

“[Being in good] health is really important to me. Right now, I’m [battling] a genetic lung disorder called sarcoidosis, which can go into remission. I’m in Stage II and I’m trying to reverse it,” Campbell-Martin told Essence Magazine. “I’ve only got one body and I really want to take care of it by working out and eating right.”

I remember first experiencing the brilliance and talent of Tisha Campbell-Martin when she sang on the movie “Little Shop of Horrors.”   Reflecting on that film, it’s clear that she (along with Tichina Arnold) was trained to be a threat in multiple styles of entertainment.  She attended Newark Arts High School and stands with the great Whitney Houston as one of the prides of the state of New Jersey.

I was sad to read that things were not all that happy behind the scenes on the tv show, “Martin.”  In 1996, Campbell-Martin sued Lawrence for sexual harassment.  The suit was settled so the crew could shoot the last three episodes of the television show.  Campbell-Martin agreed to appear on the show, as long as she was not forced to conduct scenes with Martin Lawrence himself.

Perhaps that explains why the show won’t be having a reunion anytime soon.

Without regard to the issues behind-the-scenes, Campbell-Martin is one of the most talented black female performers in America, and I am sure she’s going to pull through this with flying colors.  Good luck Tisha, (in my best Martin voice) we luuh you gurrrl.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.





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