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."
Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, known as the NASA mathematician, physicist, and scientist, used her math genius to guide to and land Apollo 11 on the moon and bring it back to earth (see AfroAmerica Network: Katherine Globe Johnson, Black Woman and NASA Scientist Depicted in Hidden Figures, Dies at 101). As NASA chief Charles Bolden, put it Katherine "advanced Human Rights with a slide rule and a pencil", and the "frontier of human achievement at the same time." Yet, she was only postumously awarded the Hubbard Medal, the National Geographic Society's highest recognition, for her extraordinary contributions in the fields of science and exploration, the same medal as the one the astronauts she helped received 51 years ago.
Despite the delay, the medal is yet another sigh of how much she impacted Humanity and Human Rights, against all odds. At the time of her birth, on August 26, 1918, the odds of reaching the human achievements of her life, were remote at the best, if not impossible. It was the time when women were not encouraged to pursue high degrees or math and sciences. Moreover, Katherine Johnson was a Black woman, born in a segregated America. Yet, she overcame all these odds.
Chadwick Boseman, a Black american movie star, best known for playing Black Panther in the movie produced by Marvel Studiis, has died of colon cancer. He was 43 years old. According to a statement posted on social media, Chadwick Boseman died at his home in Los Angeles , his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and and his family by his side. The sudden death shocked and stunned the World, the film industry, and the Black community, in general.
The late African-American Civil Rights icon John R Lewis's funeral was held on July 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia, US. The funeral and memorial service was attended by several high profile individuals, including Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, the US Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, and the current Atlanta mayor Keisha Bottoms, among others. It was held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, formerly led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at which John Lewis was a member.
Rep. John R. Lewis, the civil rights icon whose fight for racial justice began in the Jim Crow south and ended in the halls of Congress, died Friday night. John Lewis represented Georgia's 5th congressional district. He had been suffering from Stage IV pancreatic cancer since December. He was 80 old.
News from Bujumbura, Burundi, later confirmed in a statement from the Burundian Government, indicate that Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of Burundi, has died following a cardiac arrest on June 8, 2020 at the Karusi Fiftieth Anniversary Hospital. He was 55 years old.