Community activist Azeeza Hurston passed away at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt hospital center on Dec. 27, 2012.
Hurston was born on July 23, 1935, in Philadelphia. Upon becoming an adult, Hurston moved from Philadelphia to New York City, and eventually settled in Harlem, where she lived and advocated until her death.
At the age of 21, Hurston began practicing Islam. She considered herself a devout Muslim. In 1981, she joined the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, where she was treasurer of the Sisterhood.
Four years later, Hurston attended Lehman College, where she received her Bachelor of Science in accounting. While working on her degree, Hurston founded the Lehman Jazz Club and made it possible for many popular jazz artists to play at the college.
Hurston worked throughout the years at Arthur C. Logan Hospital, formerly Knickerbocker Hospital. Working her way up from medical biller to financial investigator to special assistant for the director of fiscal affairs and as internal auditor, Hurston believed in hard work. After her many years at the hospital, Hurston worked at the New York City Community Development Agency of Human Resources Administration. At this job, she was the staff analyst for both the Fiscal Audit Unit and Program Planning and Development. She also served as acting chairperson for the Department of Youth and Community Development Panel, and made recommendations to the deputy commissioner on program and budget modifications.
Aside from her career at the hospital and HRA, Hurston also worked for the community through the NAACP, where she held many positions, including treasurer, youth advisor and chairman of its ACT-SO Committee. She was also a member of Manhattan Community Board 10, African American Women of Harlem PAC (which she founded) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Hurston leaves behind her two children, Ahmad and Yasmin, four grandchildren and many other relatives.