By Genoa Barrow | Senior Editor at OBSERVER
If the past two years have taught us anything, it's that time really isn't eternal. From a pandemic that continues to impact the community to an epidemic of gun violence that has wreaked its own havoc, this year has left us reeling and feeling a collective sense of loss.
A difficult year is coming to an end. The OBSERVER takes a minute to reflect and celebrate some of those who rose to fame in 2022. Gone but not forgotten.
Legendary actor and screenwriter Max Julien died on January 1, his 88th birthday, in Los Angeles. Julien starred in the 1973 cult classic blaxploitation film The Mack and wrote another, Cleopatra Jones.
Clifton Ryan, a Trinidadian and Tobago calypso singer known as Mighty Bomber, died on January 1. Ryan was 93 years old.
Nigerian Bishop Paul Adegboyega Olawoore died on January 1. He was 60 years old.
Sultan Banks, a San Jose hip-hop innovator and producer known as Traxamillion, died on January 2 of a rare cancer. Banks, 42, has collaborated with other Bay Area artists like E-40, Keak da Sneak and Drew Deezy.
Trinidad and Tobago calypso singer Kenwrick Joseph died on January 2. Joseph, 69, acted as Kenny J and also served as his country's deputy police chief.
Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Odell Carl Barry died Jan. 3 of heart disease at the age of 80. Barry played for the Broncos from 1964-1965. After leaving the NFL, Barry served as mayor of Northglenn, Colorado and as a delegate to the 1980 Democratic National Convention.
Ross Dean Browner, a college football Hall of Famer who spent 10 years in the NFL, including a stint with the Cincinnati Bengals, died Jan. 4. Browner was 67 years old.
Jessie Lee Daniels, founding member of R&B group Force MDs, died on January 4. The group had hits with songs like "Tender Love", "Love Is a House" and "Touch and Go". Daniels was 58 years old.
Darryl T. Owens, a former Democratic member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, died on January 4th. Owens was 84 years old.
Tonayja Coker, a 23-year-old Local mother, was killed by a hit-and-run driver near Garden Highway and Northgate Boulevard on January 4.
Before his death on January 5, 112-year-old Lawrence Brooks was believed to be the oldest living man in the United States. An Army veteran, the New Orleans supercentennial was also the longest-lived American veteran of World War II.
Legendary actor Sidney Poitier, 94, took his final bow on January 6. In 1964, Poitier, a native of the Bahamas, became the first black actor to win an Oscar. Known for breaking barriers in Hollywood, his extensive credits included classic appearances in films such as A Raisin in the Sun, Porgy and Bess, To Sir, with Love, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and "In the Heat of the Night."
Shawki Moore, a longtime photojournalist for local broadcasts, died on January 6; he had recovered from a massive stroke. Moore was also an ordained minister and was known for putting down his camera and praying compassionately with those who experienced the tragedies he covered.
Calvin Eugene Simon, original member of legendary bands Parliament and Funkadelic, died on January 6th. Simon, 79, sang hits like "Tear the Roof Off the Sucka" and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with other P-Funk members in 1997. He continued to play gospel music before retiring in 2019.
Clive Alexander, a pioneering extempo and kaiso jazz musician from Trinidad and Tobago, known as Clive Zanda, died on January 6. He was 82 years old.
Barbara J. Jacket, former Prairie View A&M head athletics coach, died January 6 at the age of 87. Jacket won 10 National Association of Intercollegiate Track and Field titles at HBCU and later served as athletic director. In 1992, she became the second African American to serve as Olympic head coach for Team USA. Jacket was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
Legal scholar and suffrage activist Lani Guinier died on January 7 of Alzheimer's disease. Guinier was 71 years old.
Jazz and R&B musician James Forman, better known as James Mtume, died on January 9, just days after his 75th birthday. Mtume was a songwriter, producer and activist who collaborated with Miles Davis in the 1970s. His hit "Juicy Fruit" has been widely sampled by artists such as Chris Brown, Tamar Braxton, Warren G and Keyshia Cole.
Ronettes singer Ronnie Spector died on January 12 at the age of 78. Spector had hits with songs like "Be My Baby" and "Baby I Love You" in the 1960s. The Ronnettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Onaiya Mei Lee, 10, died on January 12 after being diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of pancreatitis.
Local teenager Alynia "Lena" Lawrence was fatally shot January 13 while sitting in a parked car near Stockton Boulevard. Local activists joined Lawrence's family to demand answers and an end to violence against young women in the area.
Wilfred Cyprian Harvey, the first African American to serve as a senior equipment manager at PG&E, died on January 14. Harvey, 88, was the utility's first African-American affirmative action manager and created opportunities for other minority workers. The Oakland activist was the father of local spiritual leader Minister Imhotep Alkebulan.
Carol Speed, best known for her roles in blaxploitation-era films such as Abby and The Mack, died on January 14. Speed, 76, has also starred in Dynamite Brothers, Black Samson, and TV shows like Julia. ' and 'Sanford and Son'.
Tiana Huddleston, an 8-year-old girl from Wisconsin, was shot and killed on January 15. The autistic boy's father, Michael Anthony Huddleston, originally told police he was demonstrating gun safety when the gun went off. He later said he was drunk when his daughter grabbed the gun and accidentally shot herself. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
Brig. General Charles McGee, a pilot who fought and challenged racism in four wars, died in Maryland on January 16. McGee, 102, was one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. He received many honors including theDistinguished Flying Crosswith two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star and a Congressional Gold Medal.
Fashion icon Andre Leon Talley died of COVID-19 on January 18 at a hospital in White Plains, New York. Talley, 73, was creative director for Vogue magazine and counted well-known designers such as Yves von Furstenberg, Bethann Hardison and Manolo Blahnik among his friends and confidants.
Lusia Harris, the first and only woman drafted to the NBA, died Jan. 18 in her native Mississippi. Harris, 66, was the first woman to score in an Olympic game and the first black woman inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Ian Alexander Jr., son of award-winning actress and director Regina King, apparently died by suicide on Jan. 21. Alexander was a DJ and singer-songwriter who performed under the name Desduné. I was 26 years old.
Bill Owens, the first African American to serve in the Massachusetts Senate, died on January 22. Owens was 84 years old.
Kevin Ward, the mayor of Hyattsville, Maryland, an urban area near Washington, D.C., was found dead on January 25 from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ward was 44 years old.
Moses J. Moseley, a young actor who appeared in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the television series Queen of the South and The Walking Dead, died January 26. Moseley was 31 years old.
Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst jumped from the 29th floor balcony of her New York City apartment on January 30. Kryst, 30, a correspondent for the long-running TV show Extra, has been described as "beautiful and gifted" for the "world." At his feet." Unfortunately, she also struggled with depression.
Mississippi soul musicians and brothers Syl and Jimmy Johnson died within a week. Jimmy, 93, died January 31 and Syl, 89, died February 6.
Tahjay Dobson, 22, an aspiring rapper named Tdott Woo, was shot dead outside his Brooklyn home on February 1.
Shakira Gatlin, a 19-year-old who appeared with the Dancing Dolls on the television show Bring It, was killed February 2 in Jackson, Mississippi by a minor who "mishandled a gun." Gatlin's death came just months before another DD4L artist, Dyseha Upshaw, also died.
Theodora "Teddie" Carter-Brazelton, a popular music director at Capitol City Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, passed away on February 3. Carter-Brazelton, 67, grew up in family gospel groups and then led several choirs at the local church. and lent his voice to various mass choirs and assemblies. They called her the "Mother of the Sacramento Choir".
Alphonse Williams, nephew of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, apparently died by suicide on February 3. Williams, 21, reportedly suffered from a range of physical and mental health issues.
California Golden Bears basketball legend Gene Ransom was killed in a shooting on an Oakland freeway on February 4. Ranson was 65 years old.
Funk and soul singer Betty Davis died of natural causes on February 9th. Davis, 77, was married to jazz legend Miles Davis.
Carol Wright, daughter of Sacramento's first black fire chief, died on February 17. Wright, 65, was a mediator and consultant who co-directed a Can We Chat series about race and racial tensions.
Priscilla Murray, mother of singer and actor Tyrese Gibson, died on February 17 of complications from COVID-19 and pneumonia.
Tracy Gaeta, 54, was fatally shot by a Stockton Police K-9 officer on February 22 after reportedly backing her car into a police vehicle at a red light. Body camera footage showed the officer firing more than 30 shots at his car.
Thought-provoking Los Angeles muralist Noni Olabisi died on March 1. Olabisi, 67, used her art to raise awareness of issues affecting the black community, particularly police violence.
Johnny Brown, best known for his role as Bookman on the classic show Good Times, died March 2. Brown was 84 years old.
Education champion and public servant Brenda Harris, 71, died March 5 after a short illness. Harris influenced state policy as an advisor to the California Department of Education and as an advisor to the California State Board of Education. She was a teacher at Sacramento State and has also taught in elementary, middle and high schools.
Elder Leon T. Jones of the Sacramento Progressive Church of God in Christ died March 8. Jones, 90, was a veteran who enlisted in the US Army at age 14. Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars for Heroic Deeds.
Singer and reality personality Traci Braxton lost her battle with cancer on March 12. Braxton, 50, won fans by starring and appearing alongside sisters Toni, Trina and Tamar on the show Braxton Family Values.
San Jose Police Officer DeJon Packer was found dead of a fentanyl overdose at his home in Milpitas on March 13. Packer, 24, played soccer for San Jose State and only graduated from the San Jose Police Academy in 2021 after becoming an officer as a black man in the force "to make a difference."
Los Angeles jazz icon and performer Barbara Morrison, 72, died March 16. Morrison was an advocate for the preservation of jazz music and the contribution of African Americans to the genre. He established a performing arts center in Leimert Park.
Inderkum High School basketball player Anthony Williams was beaten and killed March 19 in Rocklin by Todd Leopold, former Placer County executive, who has not been charged. The decision not to charge Leopold came after county prosecutors said there was "insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime took place."
Popular gospel singer-songwriter LaShun Pace died on March 21 of kidney failure. Pace, 60, has enjoyed a solo career and has also performed with her siblings as The Anointed Pace Sisters. He gave powerful renditions of songs like "I Know I've Been Changed" and "There's a Leak in This Old Building".
Former Sacramento teacher Hester Snider died March 25 at the age of 90. Snider taught many students who later became community mentors. In later years she was a novelist.
Gun violence broke out in the early morning of April 3 with a mass shooting in downtown Sacramento. The "K Street shooting" claimed the lives of six people: Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; Sergio Harris, 38; Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21; and De'Vazia Turner, 29.
NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed in a hit and run in south Florida on April 9. Haskins, only 24 years old, played for the Washington Redskins and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Champion bodybuilder Cedric McMillan, 44, died on April 12 of complications from COVID-19 after being involved in a car accident.
Clark University-Atlanta Founding President Emeritus Dr. Thomas W. Cole Jr., died April 14. dr Cole, 81, was a chemistry professor and research scientist.
New York hip-hop pioneer DJ Kay Slay died of COVID-19 on April 17. He was 55 years old.
Roderick "Pooh" Clark, who performed with the 1990s group Hi-Five, died April 18 in Waco, Texas. Clark, 49, had been paralyzed since a car accident in 1993.
Ralph Deloach, a former NFL player and native of Sacramento, died April 21 at the age of 65. After a short NFL career, Deloach became a parole officer.
Former Sacramento pastor Bishop Michael Davis died on April 22.
Popular Sacramento beautician Michael David Burnett, 67, died April 30. Burnett, an award-winning hairstylist, and his sister founded Premier International Salon in South Sacramento in 1994, where they created the popular hair and fashion show known locally as "The Show."
Controversial relationship commentator and podcaster Kevin Samuels suddenly collapsed and died on May 5 in Atlanta. According to a coroner, Samuels, 53, died of high blood pressure.
Jewell Caples, a singer known as the "First Lady of Death Row Records," died May 6 at the age of 53. Caples also wrote a memoir entitled My Blood My Sweat My Tears chronicling his career including voice actors like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
Adreian Payne, a former professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic, was shot dead in Orlando on May 9. Payne was 31 years old.
Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Lanier died on May 10th. The eight-time NBA All-Star was 73 years old. Lanier played for the Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks and later coached the Golden State Warriors.
South Carolina social justice activist Dr. Sonya Lewis, was killed in a hit and run on May 7th. dr Lewis championed affordable housing and education and supported survivors of domestic violence and sexual trauma.
In an act of hatred and domestic terror, 18-year-old white supremacist Peyton Gendron opened fire on May 14 outside a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. The victims, all black, were Celestine Chaney, 65; Robert Drury, 32; Andre Mackniel, 53; Catherine Massey, 72; Margus Morrison, 52; Heyward Patterson, 67; Geraldine Talley, 62; security guard Aaron Salter, 55; Ruth Whitfield, 86; and Pearl Young, 77. The gunman wrote racial slurs on his rifle and taunts such as "Here's your solution."
Jazz and funk musician Bernard Wright was hit by a vehicle and killed in Dallas on May 19. Wright, 58, was best known for his 1983 hit "Who Do You Love," which was garnered by rappers like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and New Yorker LL Cool J.
Tytyana Miller, the 25-year-old daughter of rapper and businessman Master P, died May 27 from accidental fentanyl poisoning, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.
dr Samella Lewis, the "Godmother of Black Art," died May 27 at the age of 99. The pioneering visual artist's work and activism was influenced by the civil rights movement and the black liberation movement. She was the founder of the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles. Shonna McDaniels, founder of the Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum in Sacramento, named a gallery after Dr. Lewis and vowed to keep her legacy alive.
Former Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears running back Marion Barber III was found dead June 1 at his home in Frisco, Texas. Barber, 38, was known to train in sauna-like conditions.
Two young brothers, Zy'Aire Mitchell, 12, and LaMar Mitchell, 9, died June 1 and 3 in Flint, Michigan after a white firefighter failed to evacuate their home in late May. The children were asleep and were initially overlooked by the lifeguard and later found to have knowingly provided false information about the screening of all rooms in the house.
Caltrans maintenance worker Quaanda McGadney was struck by a vehicle and killed June 3 while working on I-80 near Vacaville. McGadney was 51 years old.
Former Oakland Unified School District superintendent Dr. Ruth Love, died on June 6th at the age of 90. Love was also the Chicago Public School System's first black superintendent.
Thomas McLiechey, fifth-generation grandson of famed black abolitionist Sojourner Truth, died June 6 in Battle Creek, Michigan. McLeichey was 82 years old.
Former Sacramento Kings forward Caleb Swanigan, 25, died June 20 at a hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Swanigan was a former Big Ten Player of the Year and an NCAA All-American.
Eric M. Rigard, Republican nominee for state assembly, died June 21. Rigard, 65, was running for the District 10 seat at the time of his death. He was also active in the ministry of Calvary Christian Center.
Alexander Jefferson, a member of the famous Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, died June 22 in Detroit. Jefferson turned 100. The city plans to celebrate the centennial hero with Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson Plaza at a park where he flew model airplanes as a child. Jefferson flew 18 missions before being shot down and held as a prisoner of war for eight months in 1944-45. After his valiant service, Jefferson became a teacher and principal.
The black inventor Dr. Willie Morrow died in San Diego on June 22nd. dr Morrow, 82, is credited with developing the Afro pick, a comb that attaches to a blow dryer to straighten African American hair, and the California curl, a precursor to the popular Jheri curl style. He also edited the San Diego Monitor newspaper and ran the city's 92.5 FM radio station.
Gregory "Najee" Grimes became a victim of Sacramento's deadly summer when he was shot early July 4 while exiting an L Street nightclub. Grimes, 31, was a local high school and college football phenom who returned home to impact the lives of youth and other athletes by working with the Roberts Family Development Center and his alma mater, Inderkum High School, worked together.
Atlanta-based artist, educator, and author Michael D. Harris died of cancer on July 11. Harris, 73, was a founding member of the artist collective AfriCOBRA. He has researched the art of the African diaspora and has taught at Emory University, University of North Carolina, Duke University, Wellesley College, Spelman College, and Morehouse College.
William Hart, lead singer and songwriter for the classical music group Delfonics, died in Philadelphia on July 14. Hart lived to be 77 years old. The group had hits like "La-La (Means I Love You)" and "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)". Its classic sound was sampled by hip-hop-era artists like the Fugees and Missy Elliot.
Comedian and writer Jak Knight was found dead in Los Angeles on July 14. Knight, 28, has appeared in Netflix animated comedy Big Mouth and Peacock comedy series Bust Down. Authorities ruled her death a suicide by gunshot wound.
Vincent Parks, a Jonesboro, Arkansas police officer, died July 17 after falling ill during training exercises. Parks was 38 years old. A criminal investigation into the black officer's death was launched on the basis of "statements contradicting the facts originally reported."
Bassist and vocalist Michael Henderson died on July 19, two weeks after his 71st birthday. The musician was known for his collaborations with Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder and The Dramatics.
Shonka Dukureh, who played pioneering musician Big Mama Thornton in the 2022 film Elvis, died of heart disease on July 21 at her home in Nashville, Tennessee. Dukureh was 44 years old.
AfriCOBRA artist Nelson Stevens died on July 22 at the age of 84. Stevens was a veteran activist and teacher, having served as an art professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for more than 30 years. His death came just 11 days after that of fellow AfriCOBRA artist Michael D. Harris.
Award-winning actress Mary Alice, best known for her roles in A Different World and Sparkle, died on July 27. He was 85 years old. Alice is best known for playing Leticia "Lettie" Bostic on NBC's "A Different World." and Effie Williams in the original 1976 version of "Sparkle," which told the story of how the Supremes rose to fame. She also played Oracle in The Matrix Revolutions and Marguerite Peck in I'll Fly Away, for which she received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In 1987, she won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role in August Wilson's Fences.
Breakthrough actress Nichelle Nichols, who served as communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura, who played in the original Star Trek television series, died on July 30th. He was 89 years old. The role broke barriers when the gorgeous Nichols shared an on-screen image. making out with co-star William Shatner: having the first interracial kiss on prime-time TV. The show brought people from all backgrounds to their TV screens to watch the popular series. Nichols' portrayal of Lt. Uhura inspired a generation of black people, like NASA astronaut Mae Jemison, to take an interest in space travel.
Area Elder Carol Williams died30th July. Williams, a dancer who grew up dancing with Judith Jamison, supported former prima ballerina NaTalia Johnson's efforts to bring classical dance to black and brown children in Sacramento before her sudden death in 2021. Williams, who is 78 years old, was also a supporter member. from Unity of Sacramento Church, where he served on the church welcoming committee and as a prayer counselor. Her pastor, Rev. Kevin Ross, called her a "beloved matriarch and pillar of the church."
Heather Gray, executive producer of CBS's The Talk, died July 31 in Los Angeles of plasma cell leukemia, an aggressive form of multiple myeloma cancer. Gray, 50, also worked on The Tyra Banks Show.
Basketball legend Bill Russell died on July 31 at the age of 88. A graduate of McClymonds High School in Oakland, Russell is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history and arguably the greatest winner of any sport. He attended the University of San Francisco, where the Dons won the NCAA championship in 1955 and 1956, including a 55-game winning streak. He won a gold medal for the United States in basketball at the 1956 Olympics. Known for his teamwork, basketball IQ, and revolutionary defense and rebounds, he played center for the Boston Celtics and led them from age 13 to 11 careers - Championships. As the team's player-coach, he also became the first African-American coach in the NBA, including with the Sacramento Kings from 1987-88. Off the field, Russell was admired, particularly in his hometown of Boston, for his vocal and consistent stance against racism. For many, his outstanding playing career could only be surpassed by his extrajudicial commitment to social equality. The NBA Finals MVP award is named after the Hall of Famer, and after his death, his number 6 jersey was retired for the first time leaguewide.
Former Black Panther Albert Woodfox, who survived decades of solitary confinement in Louisiana's notorious Angola prison, died August 4 of COVID-19. Woodfox was one of three men accused of killing a white prison guard in 1972; The men became known as the Angola Three. He maintained his innocence and was released from prison in 2016. Woodfox visited Sacramento after his release and spoke about his experiences and his book, Lonesome, which was nominated for both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.
Doris Thompson, 92, died on August 5. Thompson served four years in the Women's Air Force (WAF) and then was employed at Travis Air Force Base and retired as a logistics manager at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Thompson later worked as a teaching assistant at various community services in Vallejo. She was buried with full honors in the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon.
Actor Roger Earl Mosley, best known as helicopter pilot Theodore "T.C." Calvin in the 1980s television series "Magnum, P.I." He died on August 7th. Mosley was 83 years old.
Songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier, the middle name of the acclaimed Motown Holland-Dozier-Holland team, died on August 8. The trio wrote and produced "You Can't Hooray Love," "Heat Wave," and dozens of other hits that helped establish Motown as a record label staple of the 1960s and beyond. He was 81 years old.
Mike Hickmon, a popular Little League coach in Lancaster, Texas, was killed August 13 after a fight broke out at a youth soccer game. The opposing team's coach, Yaqub Talib, has been charged with first-degree murder. Talib was a sportscaster and the brother of former NFL cornerback Aqib Talib.
Marvin Webb, a Contra Costa College baseball coach who helped countless student-athletes excel on and off the field, died Aug. 20 at the age of 70. Before working at Richmond Community College, Webb played for the Triple-A Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics. Webb was also a minister.
Ava Muhammad, the national spokeswoman for Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, died on August 26. Muhammad, 71, was a lawyer and in 1998 became the first woman to lead a mosque and a region within the nation.
Hula Mae McClendon, the mother of KDEE radio personality Thaxter Arterberry, died on September 4 at the age of 90.
News icon Bernard Shaw died on September 7th. The former CNN news anchor was 82 years old. Shaw, a Chicago native, was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 1999 and presented the Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of African Americans. journalists in 2007.
Nickelodeon comedian, writer, producer and showrunner David A. Arnold died on September 7th. Arnold, 54, worked on the show That Girl Lay Lay and wowed fans with several Netflix comedy specials.
Valencia Prime, a drag queen from Philadelphia, died in the middle of a performance on September 12. The 25-year-old Prime described herself as an "oversized dancing diva".
Rapper PnBRock was shot dead at a Los Angeles restaurant on September 12, the victim of an apparent robbery. A social media post may have informed your attacker of your whereabouts. The rapper, born Rakim Hasheem Allen, was 30 years old.
Jazz great Ramsey Lewis died September 12 in his native Chicago. Lewis, 87, was a critically acclaimed pianist, songwriter and radio personality who has recorded more than 80 albums and won five gold records and three Grammy Awards.
R&B singer Jesse Powell died of a heart attack on September 13, the day after his 51st birthday. Powell has had hits with songs like "You," "All I Need," and "By The Way."
Joyce Chiles, the pioneering Mississippi prosecutor who helped restart the investigation into the 1955 lynching of Emmet Till, died September 22. Chiles was 67 years old.
Vallejo gospel artist Eugene Dwayne Cole passed away on September 23. Cole recorded albums like He Will Work It Out and Jesus Is the Balm as Eugene Cole and Persuaded.
Music legend Pharoah Sanders died September 24 in Los Angeles. The famous saxophonist helped John Coltrane explore and expand the jazz genre. Sanders was 81 years old.
Rapper Coolio died on September 28 in Los Angeles. Coolio, 59, was best known for songs like "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage" and his extravagant braided hairstyle.
Veteran television and film actor Austin Stoker, who appeared in "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" and "Sheba, Baby," died on October 7. Stoker was 92 years old.
Willie Spence, a popular contestant and finalist for season 19 of the "American Idol" singing competition, died Oct. 12 after a car crash in Tennessee. Before appearing on the show in 2021, 23-year-old Spence wowed fans with a viral video of her rendition of Rihanna's hit "Diamonds."
"Come Into My Life" singer Joyce Sims died on October 15 in Los Angeles. Sims was 63 years old.
Daniel Smith, one of the last children of enslaved blacks in the United States, died in Washington on October 19. Smith, 90, was born when his father, who was enslaved during the Civil War, was 70. He was a civil rights leader who marched in Washington and Selma. At the time of his death, he was ready to publish his memoir, Son of a Slave: A Black Man's Journey in White America.
Josephine Melville, a black British actress who appeared on the soap operas EastEnders and Prime Suspect 2, died backstage on October 20 after appearing in the play Nine Night. Melville was 61 years old.
Misrach Ewunetie, a 20-year-old student at Princeton University, was found dead near a campus tennis court on October 20 after being missing for a week. Ewunetie, 20, an Ohio native of Ethiopian descent, was a junior on a full scholarship. His death was officially ruled a suicide this week, but his family and others had called for an independent investigation and an autopsy.
Alfred Ayodele Myah, 24, was fatally shot Oct. 21 in the parking lot of Grant Union High School by Elk Grove during a football game against Monterey Trail High School. A 15-year-old suspect in the case was arrested earlier this month.
Zuri Craig, a finalist on 2015's America's Got Talent, died on October 21. The 44-year-old singer has also worked with Tyler Perry and has appeared in films such as Madea's Big Happy Family, Madea Gets a Job and A Madea Christmas.
Former Penn State linebacker Bani Gbadyu died Oct. 22 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. The native Liberian was 34 years old.
Rev Dr Calvin Butts, who for decades pastored Harlem's famous Abyssinian Baptist Church, died on October 28. Reverend Butts, 73, was an advocate of social and racial justice and black participation in politics.
DH Danger, drummer for the band Dead Kennedys, died on October 28 in Los Angeles at the age of 63.
Shanquella Brenada Robinson, a hairstylist, businesswoman and social media personality from North Carolina, was murdered on October 29 while vacationing in Los Cabos, Mexico. Robinson's death sparked outrage across the internet and demanded answers. Your fellow travelers are people interested in your death.
"Can't Fake the Feeling" singer Geraldine Hunt died on October 29. He was 77 years old.
Jordan Marshall, 28, Kandace Florence, 28, and Courtez Hall, 33, were found dead in an Airbnb in Mexico City on October 30. Authorities say the friends died from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of a poorly installed water heater. They celebrated in Mexicoday of the Dead, the day of the dead.
Takeoff, a member of the rap trio Migos, was fatally shot outside a Houston bowling alley on November 1. Takeoff, real name Kirsnick Khari Ball, performed with the platinum-selling group, which included his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset, known for songs like "Bad and Boujee" and "MotorSport." Police say the 28-year-old artist was an innocent bystander who was shot in the head and torso when someone in a crowd opened fire after a game of dice.
Tyrone Downie, a Jamaican-born keyboardist who contributed to the sound of Bob Marley and the Wailers, died November 5. Downie was 66 years old.
Isaac Carter Jr., the first black police officer in Dallas, North Carolina, died on November 8 at the age of 86.
University of Virginia football players Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis and D'Sean Perry were shot dead on November 13 aboard a chartered bus returning from a school field trip. The alleged killer is a black student.
Roslyn Singleton, whose husband Ray appeared on America's Got Talent in 2021, died on November 15 of brain cancer. The couple chronicled their brave battle with the disease on social media. The couple also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after a video of him serenading her before the surgery went viral.
Florida-based recording artist and TikTok personality B. Smyth died Nov. 17 after a battle with pulmonary fibrosis. I was 30 years old.
Raymond Green Vance was one of five people killed on November 20 when a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Vance, 23, identified as an ally of the LGBTQ community and was at the club with his girlfriend, dancing and having a good time. He is described as a "gentle giant".
Cecilia Marshall, the Filipino widow of the first black US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, died November 22 in Falls Church, Virginia. She was 94.
Former Sacramento resident Deidra Thorpe-Jones, 61, died Nov. 20 after a brave battle with leukemia. Thorpe-Jones was a pioneer in information technology sales, including an award-winning career spanning 10+ years at Microsoft and Amazon Web Services.
Joyce Bryant, cabaret artist and activist of the 1940s and 1950s, died on November 20. The Oakland native broke barriers at a time when black artists faced racism and violence in segregated clubs across the country. She was 75 years old.
A Walmart executive in Chesapeake, Virginia, walked into a break room on November 22 and killed black employees Lorenzo Gamble, Tyneka Johnson and Brian Pendleton. The gunman also killed Randy Belvins, Kellie Pyle and 16-year-old Fernando Chavez-Barron before killing himself.
Famous actress and singer Irene Cara died on November 25 at her home in Florida. Cara, 63, starred in the original classics Sparkle and Fame. She also won an Oscar for singing the theme song to the equally popular film Flashdance.
Musician, songwriter and producer Don Newkirk died on November 25. Newkirk, 56, has collaborated with hip-hop groups like De La Soul and 3rd Bass.
Brooklyn hip-hop executive Jonathan "Hovain" Hylton died on November 25. Hylton, 56, has worked with the likes of Cam'Ron, Jim Jones, Styles P, Lloyd Banks and T Pain.
Gloria P. Ransom, the wife of local Superior Court Judge Gary E. Ransom, died in Carmichael on November 27, four days after her 79th birthday. Ransom was a businessman and served on several boards, including UC Davis Medical Center and the Sacramento chapter of Links Inc.
Talaia Newman, a young woman from Sacramento, died on November 28 of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Newman, 20, had been on life support for a week. His family wants to find out who sold him the drugs and help raise awareness and end the fentanyl epidemic.
Actor Clarence Gilyard Jr. died on November 28 in Las Vegas. Gilyard's credits include roles on the TV shows Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger, as well as films such as Top Gun and Die Hard. He recently taught theater and film acting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Yakira Chambers, story editor for the CBS drama series NCIS: Hawaii, died Nov. 30 after collapsing outside a Newport Beach mall. As an actress, Chambers, 42, appeared in Issa Rae's award-winning HBO comedy-drama Insecure and the 2020 film John Henry.
Local educator and youth mentor Azikiwe C. Ayo died on December 1st. Ayo, 75, was a special education teacher, advocate for literacy, and advocate for the application of Black-centric academic principles for the benefit of his students and the wider community.
Charismatic 4-year-old Kaari Thompson was shot dead December 1 at a grocery store in Pittsburgh's Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar neighborhood. Thompson's mother, 21-year-old Temani Lewis, was also shot and succumbed to her injuries five days after her daughter's death.
Flynn Brown, a 22-year-old physical education student at Jackson State University, was found dead in a van parked on campus on December 2. A 20-year-old classmate has been arrested on suspicion of Brown's shooting.
Janis Hunter Gaye, the second wife of legendary Motown singer Marvin Gaye, died December 3 at her Rhode Island home. Hunter Gaye, 66, sang backing vocals on Gaye's song "Got to Give It Up" and inspired other music he recorded.
A Louisville, Kentucky, mother Mary Njoki Muchemi Stanton, 49, and her daughters Andrianna, 17, and Brianna, 11, died December 3 in a suspected murder suicide. Gary Stanton, 60, is said to have shot his family before turning the gun on himself.
Edna Peete, the mother of former NFL player Rodney Peete, died December 6. He made a brief appearance on the family's Hallmark reality series, For Peete's Sake.
Ronnie Turner, son of music icons Ike and Tina Turner, died on December 8 in Los Angeles of complications from colon cancer. He was 62 years old.
Three Southern University students, Brody Moore, 19, Tyran Williams, 19, and Dylan Young, 21, died in a car crash on December 7. The three young men, members of the school's marching band Human Jukebox, traveled from the Louisiana campus to Texas for the Christmas break.
NBA Hall of Famer Paul Silas passed away on December 10th. Silas, 79, played on championship teams with the Boston Celtics and the Seattle Supersonics. His illustrious career has included coaching stints with the New Jersey Nets, Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Isac "Ike" Paggett, a longtime art educator in Sacramento, died December 10 at his Atlanta home. Paggett was a distinguished musician who served for many years as band director and director of the arts department at Sacramento High School.
Hip-hop dancer and choreographer Stephen "tWitch" Boss was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel room on December 13, after what appears to have been a suicide. The charismatic boss danced his way into the spotlight on the television competition show So You Think You Can Dance, then DJed on a popular talk show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.
Local Sherrano Stingley, 48, died December 16 after an altercation with Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputies left him in a coma. The December 6 incident, captured on body cameras, fuels a call from local and national activists for law enforcement agencies to reconsider their responses to calls that may involve mental health crises.
Christopher Williams, a 62-year-old North Philly man who was released from prison less than two years after being wrongly convicted and spending 25 years behind bars, was killed on December 17 during a funeral procession in the shot in the head and died.
Sonya Eddy, who played nurse Epiphany Johnson on the soap opera General Hospital, died on December 19. Johnson was 55 years old.
Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris, 72, died December 20, just days before the organization retired his number 32. The honor, bestowed on only two other Steelers, would come while the team was attending the 50 Reception" sketch, which Harris attended, which helped lead the team to its first Super Bowl in 1972.
Thom Bell, the Grammy Award-winning producer, writer and arranger who helped perfect the "Philadelphia Sound" of the 1970s, passed away December 22. He was 79 years old. Bell was the visionary behind hits like Stylistics' "I'll Be Around" and "Betcha by Golly, Wow."
Retired pastor Trina Newman-Townsend of south Los Angeles was killed by a hit-and-run driver on December 24 after dropping off gifts at a local animal shelter. Family members say Newman-Townsend, 62, was a community activist and foster mother of 10 children. .
Tizita "Destiny" Abdrazach, 22, died a hero on December 25, rescuing five family members of her fiancé after an artificial Christmas tree caught fire at her home in the North Highlands. Abdrazach, of Ethiopian descent, is described as compassionate and with a "beautiful soul".
Joseph Mersa Marley, grandson of the late reggae legend Bob Marley, was found dead in a vehicle in Florida on December 27. Marley, 31, is the son of Stephan Marley and was an artist in his own right, performing under the name Jo Mersa. . You may have had a fatal asthma attack.
Brazilian soccer legend Pelé died on December 29 at the age of 82. Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé rose from poverty to become one of the most popular and best-paid athletes of the 20th century. He won three World Cups with the Brazil national team and also served tirelessly as a global ambassador for sport and goodwill, often speaking out against racism in football.