“Jonathan Hicks was a good friend, and someone who I knew not only through his work in journalism at The New York Times, the Amsterdam News and BET. Jonathan had a personal impact on me, encouraging me to follow my dreams, stay confident in myself and to aspire for greatness. These words were especially powerful coming from someone who I thought should only care about the powers that be. Instead, in what I later realized was that, in classic Jonathan Hicks fashion, he cared more about inspiring a young father and college student working as a messenger, urging me to stay in school and provide for my family.

“I’ve considered Jonathan a friend and a mentor ever since. Jonathan’s impact on the world, through his writing, inspirational music and mentorship to dozens of young men like myself cannot be adequately measured, and I offer my condolences to his family and friends in their time of loss,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.