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Photo Download: Barbara Kydd Graves

Barbara Graves, Wife of Black Enterprise Founder Earl Graves Sr., Dies

Family matriarch was a guiding force of Black Enterprise and a quiet source of strength and inspiration

Photo and reprint permission courtesy of Graves Family/Earl Graves Ltd.

Family matriarch and a guiding force of Black Enterprise, Barbara Kydd Graves succumbed early this morning at Howard University Hospital after a more than three-year battle with gall bladder cancer. She was 75.

The wife of Earl G. Graves Sr., the founder, chairman and publisher of Black Enterprise, she played a vital role in the growth and development of the publication and media company, and its mission of economic empowerment and wealth building for African Americans.

Since the launch of Black Enterprise Magazine in 1970, Barbara Graves, an alumna of Brooklyn College and a former elementary school teacher, held every major position, including editorial director, circulation director and chief financial officer, during the 40-plus-year history of this company. Along the way, she is credited with grooming and developing several generations of executive leadership, including sons Earl Jr., Johnny and Michael, all of whom have worked as executives at Black Enterprise. Graves also co-founded and guided the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, the premier networking event and conference for women executives of color.

“My mother was a steadfast and loving partner and counselor to my father; his quiet source of strength and inspiration,” says Earl Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise. “She served as mentor and guide to several generations of employees, managers and professionals. Above all, she genuinely cared for every member of the Black Enterprise family, and held a special passion for children and young people in particular.”

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

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16 Responses to “Photo Download: Barbara Kydd Graves”

  1. Anthony Thomas, M.H.A. May 26, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    So sorry for the loss of your loved one. Sister Graves has left a great legacy and for this we are all grateful. Again, the changing of the guard and a chance for the younger generation to take the baton and lead us into the future. May God’s grace continue to bolster the efforts and results we’ll need going forward. Sorry for your loss.
    Anthony Thomas, M.H.A.
    Riverside Alumni Chapter -California
    Kappa Alpha Psi Fratenity, Inc.

  2. Patricia Hodgins May 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    What a loss! I pray that she had a peaceful passing and a glorious homecoming. We will all miss her.


    Patricia Hodgins

  3. James Best May 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    You will be missed. May God bless all you touched.

    James & Family

  4. Sheila D Bair Bey May 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    My deepest sympathy to the Graves family. Mrs. Graves was an outstanding woman.

    Sheila D Bair Bey
    Retired Elementary School Teacher

  5. Pablo L. Sánchez May 27, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    My deepest, felt sorrow came over me when I saw CNN’s
    broadcast the passing of Mrs. Barbara Kydd Graves.

    First I would like to extend my condolences to Mr. Earl Graves Sr.
    To her children, grandchildren and entire family.
    To all who had the privilege to come in contact with
    Mrs. Barbara Kydd Graves.

    BlackEnterprise has been my source of insperation for almost
    20 years.
    I look forward to Mr. Earl Graves Sr. editorial every month. I bought
    my first house ten years ago and I credit BlackEnterprise for providing
    the guidence and raising my confidence level.

    Mr. Graves, please stay strong.
    You and your family are extremely relevant in America.

    Love to all!

    The Sánchez Family

  6. Comora D. Brock May 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    My prayers are with The Black Enterprise Family. PLEASE KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!!

  7. Christopher A. Thomas May 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    I offer my deepest words of sorry and hope for the Graves family. Your wife and mother and guidance councilor to many was a inspiration to a lot of people because she lead by example on how a wife, mother and civic leader should live!!!!!!

  8. Christopher A. Thomas May 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    I offer my deepest words of sorry and hope to the Graves family. She was a great example of what a wife, mother, and councilor should be. She was a inspiration to a lot of people because she lead through her faith and good work of deeds!!!

  9. James and Carolyn Caldwell May 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Graves Family and the Black Enterprise Family. Another bright star has been set in the heavens above. May the loving spirit of your wife and mother continue to shine down upon you all.

    The Caldwell Family

    • James and Carolyn Caldwell May 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

      Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Graves Family and to the Black Enterprise Family. Another bright star has been set in the heavens above. May the loving spirit of your wife and mother forever shine down upon you.

      The Caldwell Family

  10. Regina K. MILLS May 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    May GOD, be with all of you guys every second of the day.

  11. Delisa Meyers May 29, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    B.E. has been a source of inspiration for me for over 10 years. Particularly in 2005 after dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Being a New Orleans resident at the time…and now a Houston resident, and avid B.E. reader… the BE family, and business was a great source of strenghth, hope, and encouragement to me and many others.. The awe inspiring overcoming stories, opportunities, and world overcoming faith was reflected in the B.E articles which I continued to seek out.. B.E. has been extremely enriching in mind, body, and spirit. May God empower the Graves family with unfailing strength, comfort, and assurance in knowing that the beautiful angel in the field of love was there for me and the world at all times. God smiles on you sister Barbara Graves, and so do we. For we bear witness that you were also the fabric behind, aside, and in the heart of the very gift to the world Earl Graves and the B.E blessing.. God gave him the everpresent.. Barbara Kydd Graves…Our prayers are with you and the family

  12. Minnie Turner May 30, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    She is so pretty. My condolences.

  13. Martice Brumfield May 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Our heart felt condolences and prayers are with the Graves Family at this most difficult and challenging time.

    The Brumfield Family

  14. Natalie Fauntleroy June 2, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    My sincere condolences to the graves family. Mom ran her race, fought a good fight, and now is home to get yet another reward of her best life. Prayers always.


  15. Natalie Johnson June 8, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    My condolences to the entire Graves’ family and circle of friends. I am so very sorry for your loss but pray that you will each find individual peace and comfort in these toughest of times. Mr. Graves, Sr., I met you in 1988 during one of the BE Entreprenuer Workshops and you were gracious in providing me with excellent advice during our elevator ride. Thanks for being an excellent role model and for inspiring me to be the best person, teacher and entrepreneur that I can be. May you all find your peace.

    Natalie Johnson

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