The Afropop family has lost a longtime behind-the-scenes player. Back in the mid-’80s in Boston, Crystal Sloan taught me how to present myself as a software technical writer, though I had had no experience with computers prior to that. The money I earned funded my first trips to Africa. And when I transitioned to working mainly with Afropop Worldwide, Crystal advised us on key decisions through four generations of our website, afropop.org.
A star student at MIT in the ’70s, having worked on the software for the space shuttle, and moving on to an illustrious career as a software developer and consultant, Crystal always kept on top of rapid changes in technology. This remained true even after health issues forced her to move to a remote, rural location in Tennessee, away from all sources of air pollution.
As a software/Web advisor, Crystal was meticulous, detail-oriented and cautious to a fault. We did not always heed her advice, and sometimes regretted it. But mostly, we did listen and were the better off for it. We were very sorry to hear of her passing on May 8. We will miss her laughter and humor, her stern warnings and her guiding wisdom.