4. Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, civil right pioneer, 99
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5. Emma Cooper-Harris, first African American Mayor of Anguilla, Mississippi
I am extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Emma Cooper-Harris. A community organizer at heart, Emma was a civil rights icon in Mississippi. Among her many roles, Emma was the first African American Mayor of Anguilla from 2001 until 2005. pic.twitter.com/VI8sa8lOHA
6. Fred "Curly" Neal, Harlem Globetrotters legend, 77
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7. Rev. Darius L. Swann, civil rights activist, 95
The Rev. Darius L. Swann has died. He and his wife were lead plaintiffs in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, the 1971 Supreme Court case that upheld busing as a tool for desegregating schools.
8. Airickca Gordon-Taylor, civil rights activist and Emmett Till's relative, 50
This clip will show you the giant heart of Airickca Gordon-Taylor (cousin of Emmett Till). Wherever other families lost loved ones to police violence, she came to support. This is April 4, 2018 in support of family of #JustusHowell, shot in back same day as Walter Scott RIPAGT pic.twitter.com/ltGyKMohmC
11. Roger Mayweather, boxing champion and trainer, 58
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12. Josie Harris, former longtime girlfriend of Floyd Mayweather, 40
Josie Harris, who was Mayweather’s longtime girlfriend, died Monday night, according to TMZ, which reported that the 40-year-old woman was found in her car at her home in the town of Valencia.https://t.co/kbLoHZTLOl
We are deeply saddened to share the news that Barbara Neely passed away earlier this week. She was recently named the 2020 Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America & is best known as author of the groundbreaking Blanche White mystery series, which we are honored to publish. pic.twitter.com/tqwQkcYUbR
28. Nick Gordon, ex-boyfriend of Bobbi Kristina, 30
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Continue reading Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks We Lost In 2020
Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks We Lost In 2020
UPDATED: 12:30 p.m. ET, April 3 --
While death is inevitably a part of life, that truth doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye to those who have died. This running file commemorating some of the notable Black folks who have died in 2020 is meant to pay homage to their contributions in life that will live on well after their deaths.
Most recently it was reported that legendary soul singer Bill Withers died. He was 81 years old.
Prior to that, legendary jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr. died at the age of 85 after suffering complications from the coronavirus. That followed the death of Wallace Roney, a jazz trumpeter who also tested positive or the COVID-19 disease.
Prior to that, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, the man who was also known as the dean of civil rights, died March 27. Lowery was widely regarded as the top lieutenant for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and contributed to the civil rights movement in the most profound of ways that include working to end segregation on buses in Mobile, Alabama, before Rosa Parks as well as being a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He was 98 years old.
Some other notable Black folks who have died this year include the legendary NBA champion Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. The former Los Angeles Lakers star was just 41 years old. Emergency personnel responded to the accident, but there were no survivors. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was on the helicopter along with seven other people who all died, as well.
But there are others who died after living a full life of notable contributions to society, such as Katherine Johnson, the pioneering "Hidden Figures" NASA mathematician who died Feb. 24 at 101 years old. “She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote in a tweet when announcing her death.
https://twitter.com/JimBridenstine/status/1231946829962584065B. Smith, the restaurateur, lifestyle maven and esteemed businesswoman, died in February, according to her husband, Dan Gasby, who announced the news of his wife’s passing in a Facebook post. “It is with great sadness that my daughter Dana and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith,” he wrote. “B. died peacefully Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 10:50 pm, of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in our home in Long Island, New York. She was 70.”
Up-and-coming Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, known for his record “Welcome To The Party” was shot and killed in Hollywood Hills on the morning of Feb. 19. The rapper was at a Hollywood Hills home that he may have been renting when at least four men were suspected of breaking into the property wearing hoodies and masks, according to law enforcement sources. Multiple fires were shot, striking and critically wounding the Brooklyn rapper. The men, who have not yet been identified, were seen fleeing the scene on foot. It is unclear Pop Smoke he knew his killers. However, it has been reported that there was a party or gathering at the home before the alleged home invasion took place.
Pop Smoke was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood, where he was pronounced dead. He was 20 years old.
Famed actress Ja’Net DuBois, who played the role of Willona Woods on “Good Times,” died Feb. 18 at the age of 74. DuBois reportedly unexpectedly died in her sleep while at her Glendale, California home.
Veteran T.V. and movie actress, Esther Scott died Feb. 14 after suffering a heart attack days earlier. A family member announced that the actress, known for her roles in “Boyz N The Hood,” “90210,” “Birth of a Nation” and more, suffered a heart attack in her Santa Monica home and was later found unconscious. She was hospitalized and died days later. She was 66 years old.
Prior to that, the Jan. 9 death of Yolanda Carr, whose daughter, Atatiana Jefferson, was killed in her own home by police in Texas in November, was announced. Carr's death came a couple of months after Jefferson's father also died. His death was attributed in part to a broken heart while Carr's cause of death was not immediately confirmed. Studies have shown a direct correlation between people affected by police brutality and the deterioration of their health that “can lead to conditions such as diabetes, stroke, ulcers, cognitive impairment, autoimmune disorders, accelerated aging, and death.”
Legendary sports journalist Roscoe Nance also died Jan. 9 at the age of 71, according to an obituary published on the website of a funeral home in Alabama. Nance covered HBCU sports up until his death but was also an NBA reporter at one point. He was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame in 105, calling the honor "the highlight of my career," according to the HBCU Gameday website.
The new year began tragically with the suspected drug overdose death on Jan. 1 of Nick Gordon, who was most famous for his relationship with Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown. He was only 30.
Scroll down to learn more about some of the other notable Black folks who have died this year.
Notable Deaths 2019Notable Deaths 2018Notable Deaths 2017