Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in the World championships history has added a new medal to her count. On Thursday, July 7, 2022, US President Joe Biden awarded Simone Biles the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. Simone Biles hence becomes the youngest person to win the Medal of Freedom.
Sidney Poitier, a legendary Black actor and civil rights activist has passed away in Los Angeles, CA on January 6, 2022. He was 94 years old.
His death was confirmed by the office of the prime minister of the Bahamas. Sidney Poitier was the first Black man even to win a Best Actor Oscar. Sidney Poitier, whose parents hailed from the Bahamas, was also known for being the most prominent, if not the only representative of African-Americans in mainstream cinema during the tumultous period of the American Civil Rights movement.
On Wednesday, January 5, 2022, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a pardon for civil rights activist Homer Plessy, 130 years after his arrest, trial and conviction, for protesting against racism. Homer Plessy's landmark case, Plessy v. Ferguson, was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where all White judges ruled in a 7-1 majority against him, reinforcing the racist "separate but equal" doctrine in the U.S and setting the foundation of the Jim Crow regime in the US southern states.
Nobel Prize Laureate, Freedom struggle icon and Leader in the South African Council of Churches Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu has died on December 26, 2021. He was 90 years old. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is considered as one of African freedom heroes for the struggle against apartheid , corruption, dictatorship, and kleptocracy.
General Colin Luther Powell, one of the most prominent Black US military and political figures has passed away. He was 84 years old.
According to the statement from his family, he died from COVID-19 complications. General Colin Powell is well known for his firsts as a Black African American: first US Black National Security Adviser, fist Black Secretary of State, and the youngest and Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Colin Powell, a long-time republican, was also known for endorsing the fist Black President Barack Obama, a democrat, and in the process, declining to run for president himself despite pressures from his party and republican supporters and instead endorsing other candidates, mostly democrats.
Marcel Theo Hall, known professionally as Biz Markie, was a pop culture star. He died on July 16, 2021 in Baltimore, MD, USA. He was 57 years old An AfricanAmerican rapper, he was also a renown DJ, record producer, writer, singer, actor, and comedian.
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) died on Sunday, July 11 in Paris, France. He was 81 years old. Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, known to be close proche du Pope François, was a tireless fighter for peace in his country.
Zaila Avant-Garde, 14 years old, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship on Thursday, July 8, 2021. She was the first African American and the second Black to win the championship in the Scripps National Spelling Bee's 96-year history. The only previous Black winner was Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica.
Mary Wilson who, along with Diana Ross and the late Florence Ballard, co-founded the iconic Supremes group, has died. She was 76.
According to the news media, Mary Wilson died in her home in Henderson, Nevada, US, on Feb 8, 2021. Before her death, it was reported that Mary Wilson was about to release a new album.
Cicely Tyson, an African-American actress, died on January 28, 2021. Larry Thompson, her longtime manager, announced the passing of Cicely Tyson. She was 86 years old. Cicely Tyson is highly respected, especially in the Black communities, for refusing to act in roles that demean Black people, even when no other acting options were available.
Henry Louis Aaron, nicknamed "Hammer" or "Hammerin' Hank", the renown Baseball player and longtime civil rights activist has died. Hall of Fame icon died in his sleep on Friday, January 22, 2021, as confirmed by The Atlanta Braves. He was 86 years old.
Charley Pride, one of country music's first Black superstars, and the first Black Country star to be signed to a major label has died. He was 86.
Charley Pride was the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He released multiple albums and sold millions of records worldwide, since he started his music career in 1960s. Among the most successful hits are 1971 "Kiss an Angel Good Morning", "Mountain of Love," "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone," "Burgers and Fries," and "Someone Loves You Honey."