2021 Notable Deaths

We’ve lost a lot of the greats this year. With respect, we pay homage to all of those pioneers, trailblazers and notable figures who left such an invaluable mark in our lives and history.

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson, one of the most iconic actresses in Black history and Hollywood, died at the age of 96. Tyson was a pioneer that paved the way for Black actors for years to come. Tyson won 49 awards out of 52 nominations throughout her almost 70-year career.

Colin Powell

Colin Powell, and esteemed diplomat, politician, and Army officer was the first Black U.S. Secretary of State who helped shape America’s major foreign policies throughout the late 20th and early 21st century. He died at the age of 84 due to cancer and COVID-19 complications.

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron made MLB history in 1974 after he shattered Babe Ruth’s home run record becoming the “Home Run King.”

Earl “DMX” Simmons

Rapper DMX died on April 9 at the age of 50 after suffering from a heart attack. The influential hip-hop artist was known for his introspective lyrics that explored his trauma and his light.

Ronnie Wilson

Ronnie Wilson, the older brother of “Uncle” Charlie Wilson as well as a co-founder and one-third of the legendary Gap Band, passed away at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Nov. 2. His wife, Linda Boulware-Wilson, said her husband died peacefully as he held her hand before he drew his final breath. He was 73 years old.

Melvin van Peebles

Melvin van Peebles, the iconic filmmaker and movie director whose groundbreaking work like “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” went on to become cult classics, especially in the Black community, died on Sept. 21. He was 89 years old.

Anthony “A.J.” Johnson

Actor and comedian Anthony “A.J.” Johnson died at the age of 56. The actor was widely known for his role on the “Friday” franchise of movies. There was no official cause of death immediately released.

 Kangol Kid

 Born Shaun Shiller Fequiere, rap pioneer Kangol Kid died less than a year after being diagnosed with colon cancer. A member of the 80’s rap group UTFO, Kid was known for his affinity for Kangol hats, and is said to be the first rapper to sign an endorsement deal, later followed by Run DMC.

 bell hooks

(Preferred lowercase presentation of her pseudonym in honor of her great-grandmother and to draw greater attention to her ideas instead of her identity.)

Born Gloria Jean Watkins, notable author known for her work on the intersectionality between race and feminism died at the age of 69 in her hometown in Kentucky.

Dr. Shirley McBay

Dr. Shirley McBay, a pioneer in the world of mathematics and the first Black student to receive a doctorate from the University of Georgia died at the age of 86. She was a leader in the movement for diversity and inclusivity in mathematics. Her cause of death was diabetes and dementia.

Virgil Abloh

A world-renowned fashion icon and first Black artistic director for Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh died from his battle with a rare form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma, at the age of 41.

Lee Elder

 Former professional golfer Lee Elder became the first Black person to play in the Masters Tournament, and played 448 matches in the PGA Tour, winning four times. Elder died at the age of 87.

Antwain Fowler

 The adorable, viral Youtube sensation Antwain Fowler died at the age of 6 years old due to a serious disease known as auto-immune enteropathy, which he had been battling most of his life.

Michael K. Williams

 Renowned actor Michael K. Williams, known for his roles in “The Wire’ and “Lovecraft County” was found dead in his apartment at the age of 54. The cause of death was drug intoxication.

Gloria Richardson

Gloria Richardson was a prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement, fighting against racial inequality and unfair labor laws. She is the subject of an iconic photograph where she is standing against an officer with a bayonet in her face. She died at the age of 99.

Suzanne Douglas

 Esteemed actress Suzanne Douglass starred in many culturally revered movies like “Jason’s Lyric,” “Tap,” and most recently “When They See Us.” She died at the age of 54 from cancer.

Greg Leakes

Gregg Leakes, a former real estate investor and husband of NeNe Leakes of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” reality TV series, died September 1 at the age of 66 after a three-year-long battle with colon cancer.

Bob Moses

Robert “Bob” Moses, a lifelong educator and civil rights leader who inspired generations of organizers, engaging with them around the importance of collective action and respecting local knowledge, died on July 25. He was 86 years old.

Biz Markie

Biz Markie, the pioneering rap star whose hit song “Just A Friend” made him a household name in the ’90s, died on Friday (July 16) following a long battle with diabetes. He was 57 years old.

Clarence Williams III

Clarence Williams III, the enigmatic actor who rose to fame as the character “Linc” On “The Mod Squad,” becoming a Black power icon during the ’70s, died on June 4 at the age of 81 after a battle with colon cancer. Some of Williams’ most notable credits include playing troubled father figure type roles in the smash hits, “Purple Rain” and Sugar Hill.”

Paul Mooney

Legendary comedian Paul Mooney, whose real name was Paul Gladney, passed away on May 19 at the age of 79 after suffering a heart attack at his home in Oakland, California.

Shock G

Digital Underground’s Shock G died on April 22 from unknown causes. He was 57. The eccentric and charismatic frontman rose to prominence in the 80’s and 90’s, cultivating the group’s sound to helped steer Oakland, California, as a vital ground in hip-hop. Shock G was also famously known for his persona Humpty Hump.

Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson, one of the founding members of The Supremes, has died at the age of 76. Her death on Feb. 8 was unexpected. There was no cause of death immediately announced.

Leon Spinks

Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks died on Feb. 5 after a five-year battle with prostate and other cancers. Spinks, 67, was most famously known for one of the greatest sports upsets of all time during a 1978 boxing match with Muhammad Ali, where he beat the champ, securing the heavyweight title. Several months later Ali reclaimed the title.

“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler

“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, the legendary boxing middleweight champion, died March 13 at the age of 66. Hagler’s wife said in a Facebook post that he “passed away unexpectedly at his home” in New Hampshire. During his career that spanned 14 impressive years, Hagler lost just two times and scored 53 knockouts while amassing 62 wins.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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