MJ Harris, the beloved Eagles Storybook Man, passed away on October 27 at the age of 30 after a courageous fight against a rare form of kidney cancer ...
MJ Harris, beloved by many as the Eagles Storybook Man, passed away on October 27 at the age of 30 after a courageous fight against a rare form of kidney cancer.
As one of two Eagles Storybook Men, MJ read books and poetry to tens of thousands of children since he was hired by Eagles Youth Partnership for the role in 2011. He was best known for his rendition of Shel Silverstein's poem, Hungry Mungry, about a villain who eats so much that he consumes the whole universe, but MJ gave much more to his universe than he took from it. He lived his years fully, as a poet, teacher and advocate for young people. He ran writing workshops for teens at risk, assisted with song- and playwriting at The Freedom Theater and was one of the lead organizers for the Hip Hop collective, Sela.
But it was MJ's presence that was magnetic. His smile lit up the room and his sense of humor would have you doubled-over with laughter. He wasn't afraid of expressing his feelings and observations and his lyrics edged us all towards a vision of a more just society. MJ always had at least two books with him, one to read and another to write. And a comic book was often within reach. He was a kid at heart which was part of why he related so well to young people.
MJ grew up in New Orleans as a passionate football fan. He represented the Eagles with pride every time he put on the Eagles Storybook Man cape for the Eagles Book Mobile program.
MJ leaves behind his mother, Dianne Marie Aych Harris, his brother, Malcolm, his beloved fiancée, Daffodale, and so many friends and colleagues. He also leaves verses unfinished, stories untold and poems unread. May the goodness he poured into the Universe during his lifetime live on with his memory.