RIP: Outstanding Blacks We Lost In 2023 (2023)

WWhile death is an inevitable part of life, that fact doesn't make saying goodbye to the dead any easier.

Read on to learn more about the notable black people we lost in 2023.

1. Jim Brown

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Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown has died. He was 87 years old.

Jim Brown is considered by many to be the greatest American football player of all time.

A prominent civil rights activist, Brown was the 1965 NFL Most Valuable Player. He rushed for 12,312 yards in his nine-year career. He had 106 rushing touchdowns, 126 total touchdowns, and 15,549 yards.

2. Tory Bowie

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Tory Bowie dies. She is 32 years old. Bowie rose to prominence at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she performed well as a presenter for the US women's track team alongside Tiana Bartoletta, Alison Felix, and Ingely Gardner. The news of her untimely death shocked the Internet.

“We are saddened to share the sad news of the passing of Tori Bowie,” Icon Management said.said in a statement on Twitter"We lost a client, a dear friend, a daughter and a sister. Tori was a champion...a beacon that shone so brightly! We are truly heartbroken and our prayers are with family and friends."

3. Harry Belafonte

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Belafonte and Sidney Poitier also helped finance the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer. He also chaired the International Symposium on African Child Artists and Intellectuals in Dakar, Senegal. Belafonte has successfully used his popularity in the entertainment industry to help inspire social change around the world.

Friends, family and fans celebrated Harry Belafonte's legacy on social media and remembered the host, entertainer and civil rights pioneer.

"possibleharry belafonteRIP, brave civil rights hero," tweeted journalist Christian Amanpour. "He inspired generations of people around the world to fight for nonviolent resistance, justice and change. We need his example now more than ever. "

4. Rasheeda Williams aka Koko Da Doll

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From the Sundance Film Festival Twitter:

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Rasheeda Williams aka Koko Da Doll. We are honored to have her at this year's festival with KOKOMO CITY, where she reminded black trans women, "We can do anything, we can do whatever we want." Such a tragic loss.

5. Otis Redding III

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Born in 1963, Otis III was just three years old when his famous father died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. However, Otis III and his older brother Dexter will carry on their father's musical legacy through their band of funky,readings.

The Reddings were moderately successful, releasing six studio albums between 1980 and 1988. Their singles included "Remote Control" (#6 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart) and "Call The Law" (#16 on the Hot Soul Singles chart). Black Singles).

6. Pianist Ahmed Jamal

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7. Howell Wayans

Howell Wayans is the father of Keenan Ivory, Damon, Shawn, Dwayne, Kim, Nadia, Elvira, Diedra, Vonnie, and Marlon. His family may be the most successful black family in show business. Howell Wayans lost his wife Elvira in 2020.

Howell's children took to social media to express their emotions about their father's death and touch on their father's legacy.

"Thank you dad for being a role model to all your children. I pray that all black youth grow up to be just like you," Malone wrote.instagram"The boy loves you. If I ever need you, I know where to find the bible I have by my bed right now. Rest well. Kiss mommy for me. Tell her her children miss her,' the actor continued, "I have two angels. I can feel you lift me up."

Deedra also shared a heartfelt message about her father on Instagram.

"My heart is heavy," he wrote on his Instagram. "I thank God for all the years of love, memories, and great parents. People who never gave up on their children. I know I am in the minority, but through your tough love, discipline, and loyalty, I have become someone like Incredible woman like you, mom. Spiritual woman like you, dad. So it ended with a beautiful love story. Hand in hand again. I can only imagine your joy when you see each other again and hug each other."

8. Randall Robinson, anti-apartheid icon, founder of TransAfrica

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Robinson, who died Friday, was also a lawyer, author and founder of TransAfrica, a nonprofit organization that influences US foreign policy toward countries in the African diaspora. Reporter Roland Martin tweeted Saturday that Robinson's sister confirmed his death in a text message and said her brother "died at dawn yesterday."

9. Willis Reed, NBA legend

willis cane, the former seven-time All-Star for the New York Knicks, has died. He is 80 years old.

In the 1964 NBA draft, Reid was selected by the Knicks in the second round. He was Rookie of the Year that year and was a seven-time All-Star. He was also named to the All-NBA team five times. The former center and forward helped New York win championships in 1970 and 1973 and was the league MVP in 1969-70.

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10. Lance Reddick, actor

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Actor Lance Reddick, best known for his role on the hit cable crime drama "The Wire," has died, according to reports.

First reported by TMZ, Redick was found dead in his California home on Friday morning. His cause of death was not immediately reported.

TMZ reported that police said the 60-year-old man died "apparently of natural causes."

NBC News issued a statement from Redick's publicist asking the grieving actor's family to respect their privacy.

"Famous actor Lance Reddick died suddenly this morning of natural causes."Mia Hanson dice"Lance will be greatly missed. Please respect his family's privacy at this time."

Reddick also rose to fame starring in the John Wick film series, the latter of which was being promoted at the time of his death.

John Wick: Chapter 4 will be released in theaters on March 24.

Redick, who rose to fame as Baltimore sheriff Cedric Daniels, starred in all five seasons of HBO's "The Wire."

Acting wasn't Redick's only artistic talent.

In 2011, it wasreleased his first album, "Thought and Memory".
He previously attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he studied classical composition. He also plays the piano and said that he always wanted to be a musician, but his job as an actor came first so that he could take care of his family.

Redick is survived by his wife, Stephanie Redick, and two children, daughter Yvonne Nicole and son Christopher Fredick.

11. Felton Spencer, former NBA player

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former nba basketball starFelton Spencer died on March 12.55 years The news of Spencer's death was announced by her sister Tammy Pollock incheep, but no cause of death was listed.

Before Spencer brought his talents to the NBA, he was a standout student athlete at the University of Louisville. Spencer finished her college career with 1,168 points and 694 rebounds. He also holds the school record for his career field goal percentage (62.8 percent). While at school, he helped the Cardinals win three straight Metro Conference championships and two Sweet 16 appearances.

12. Otis Taylor, NFL player

Former NFL wide receiver and Hall of Famer Otis Taylor died last week at the age of 80. Taylor has battled Parkinson's disease and dementia for more than a decade, according to his family. The former Kansas City Chiefs star was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and related dementia in 1990, and his family filed a lawsuit against the NFL in 2012, alleging the NFL's health problems began with a seizure in 1969, it reported. ESPN.


Taylor, who spent more than 10 years of his career in Kansas City, was selected in the fourth round of the 1965 AFL draft by Prairie View A&M. In an era when the passing game was still developing, he finished two more 1,000-yard seasons and finished his career with 7,306 receiving yards and 57 receiving touchdowns.

"While we mourn his passing, my family and I extend our deepest condolences to Otis's wife Regina, his sister Odell and the entire Taylor family," Chiefs president Clark Hunter said in a statement. dynamic receivers of his era and helped revolutionize the position. Off the field, he was kind and dedicated to the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Otis's legacy will live on forever."

13. Wayne Shorter, jazz legend

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Legendary jazz musician Wayne Shorter died March 2 in Los Angeles at the age of 89. His publicist, Alisse Kingsley, confirmed his death.

The saxophonist and composer is one of the most influential jazz musicians on the planet.

Shorter rose to fame in the 1950s as the principal songwriter for Art Blakey's Bass Messengers. He later teamed up with Miles Davis, joined his second big quintet, and later co-founded the world-renowned jazz-fusion band Weather Report.

As the leader of The Weather Report, Short wrote 20 albums. He also recorded several albums for Blue Note Records, composing most of the music.

14. Zandra Flemister

US Secret Service Agent Zandra Flemister has died at the age of 71. She was the first black woman to serve as a Secret Service agent. Flemister died from complications of Alzheimer's disease, according to reports. Ella flemister is remembered as a pioneer in the institution, although she said that she left because of racism.


She served as an officer abroad for more than three decades, rising to the top post of senior diplomat before Alzheimer's disease forced her to retire in 2011. She does this while juggling family responsibilities, including raising a child who has been diagnosed with autism.

"The level of achievement that my wife has achieved ... in the conditions that she lives in, it's hell for me as a woman," Flemister's husband, John Collinger, told NPR in a telephone interview.

Flemister's death - from complications of Alzheimer's disease and published inWashington Post- draws attention again to his groundbreaking involvement with the Secret Service in the 1970s.

“I have had incredible outbursts from former and current Black Secret Service agents who now see her as, I would say, a forgotten trailblazer, rescued from oblivion,” Collinger told emails and phone calls she received in recent days.

15. Huey 'Piano' Smith, rock pianist

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of the new york times:

Huey "Piano" Smith, whose two-fisted keyboard style and gritty songs propelled the New Orleans R&B sound into the pop top 10 of the late 1950s, died Feb. 13 at his home in Baton Rouge. He was 89 years old.

His daughter, Acquelyn Donsereaux, confirmed his death.

Mr. Smith wrote songs that became cornerstones of New Orleans R&B and rock, especially"Swinging Pneumonia and the Boogie-Woogie Flu","You don't know" and "Sea cruise".

16. Lorenzo “Lo” Jelks, Herald TV reporter

Constitution of the newspaper Iz Atlanta:

Atlanta's first black television reporter, Lorenzo "Lo" Jelks, has died at age 83.

He reached a media milestone when WSB-TV signed him in 1967. He would remain with the station until 1976.

17. Thomas W. Dodge Jr.

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Atlanta civic leader Thomas W. Dortch Jr., chairman of the board of the National Coalition for Black Civic Engagement and former leader of 100 Black America, has died at the age of 72. Dolch's cause or date of death was not immediately reported. The native Georgian was a successful businessman.

18. Stanley Wilson Jr., former NFL player

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Stanley Wilson Jr., former NFL cornerback for the Detroit Lions, died on February 1 in police custody. He is only 40 years old.

the TMZ:

Wilson Jr. was in police custody following his arrest for vandalism in August ... but was found incompetent to stand trial and was transferred from the county jail to Metropolitan State Hospital in Los Angeles County on February 1, according to the prosecutors.

But police sources told CNN that he suddenly collapsed and died while being taken to a medical center that specializes in treating people with mental health problems.

19. Also known as a landmark

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On February 10, the South African rapper AKA was murdered outside a restaurant in the city of Durban. He is 35 years old.

of the new york times:

Police said AKA, 35, was walking to his car on the popular night street shortly after 10 p.m. Two gunmen approached from across the street and fired several shots at point blank range before fleeing.

AKA, whose real name was Kiernan Forbes, the other man died at the scene, police said. While police did not name the other victim, South African news reports identified her as his close friend Tebello Motsoane, a 34-year-old chef and music impresario who went by the name Tibz.

20. Roslyn Pope, civil rights leader

of the new york times:

Roslyn Pope, a senior at Spelman College in Atlanta, who wrote the 1960 manifesto for The City, laid the foundation for remarkable advances in civil rights and inspired generations of activists across the country. She is 84 years old.

Spelman College confirmed the death.

21. Charlie Thomas from Vagabonds

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Charlie Thomas, who recorded unforgettable songs like"Here Comes My Baby"He died on January 31 at his home in Bowie, Maryland, at the age of 85.

Singer Peter Lemongello Jr., a close friend, said the cause of death was liver cancer.

Tenor Mr. Thomas has been a Drifter for more than 60 years, from the band version that first became popular in the late 1950s to the version he performed and toured before the pandemic hit.

22. Golub Trugoy, 54

golubtrugoy, co-founder of the legendary hip-hop trioof the souldeceased. The cause of death has not been disclosed. Trugoy, bornDavid Jude Jolly Colewith friends from high schoolpodcast(Kelvin Mercer) yoMaceo(Vincent Mason) would form De La Soul in the mid-'80s. The group released their groundbreaking debut album "3 feet tall and growing' in 1988. Their more self-conscious style of rap led them to be nicknamed "Hip-Hop Hippies." De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah and Black Sheep would be called "original language’, bringing more positivity, Afrocentrism and eclectic lyrics behind sampled beats that will inspire a generation.

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23. Barrett Strong, 82

The Motown Museum has confirmed the death of singer-songwriter Barrett Strong on January 29. Strong's "Money (That's All I Want)" became Motown's number one hit in 1959.

24. Brandon Smiley, 32

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"Just got some bad news this morning. I'm on my way to Birmingham airport. I just hope everyone is praying for me and our family," Ricky said in the video. "My son Brendan Smiley passed away this morning."

There is no official information about his departure.

25. Jesse Lemonnier, 25

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"Shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lions Jesse Lemonier," his former team, the Detroit Lions, said in a statement on Twitter.Gore"Jesse was a model teammate and a fantastic young man, but he left too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

26. CJ Harris, 31

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According to TMZ, the former American Idol contestant suffered a heart attack. She is only 31 years old.

27. Arthur Duncan, 89

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28. Charles White, 64

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29. Kevin Limones, 44

Lemon Family official announcement 🕊️

It is with great sadness that we announce the transition of our founder, Kevin Lemons. Please keep his wife Tiunna, family and superiors in his prayers as we all deal with this sudden loss. Thank you all for the love you have shown. We are so thankful and grateful to each and every one of you! 🍋🕊️

30. Gordy Harmon, 79

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Gordy Harmon, a founding member of the R&B group The Whispers, died Thursday in his sleep at his Los Angeles home.

31. Uche Nwaneri, 38

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Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner Tony Khan tweeted: "Rest in peace Uche Nwaneri. NwaneriHe played 7 seasons for the Jaguars,2007-2013 and developed a strong bond with Jags fans that continues to this day. On behalf of the Jaguars and my family, our thoughts are with Uche's family and friends at this terrible time. "

32. Gangster Boo, 43

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Mitchell was the second woman to join Three 6 Mafia in the early 1990s, and after leaving the group, she continued to record mixes and appear on singles likeGucci Mane,Comprar,and more. At fifteen she participated in all three sixmysterious stylealbum and remained a regular in Memphis through his untimely death.

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33. Fred White,bubnjar Earth Wind & Fire,67

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Verdine White confirmed the news on Instagram

Our family is very sad today. He lost an amazing and talented family member, our loving brother Frederick Eugene "Freddy" White.

He is in heaven with our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronaldo and now he is playing drums with the angels! 🥁🥁 Children's Ward, EWF ORIGINAL 9 members, sub 16 gold record! He is the fourth brother in the family. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

But more importantly, he's a great friend both at home and away, always fun and mischievous!

We can always count on him to make seemingly bad situations easier! 🙏🏾😍🙏🏾

He will always live in our hearts, rest in peace dear Freddie!

We thank you all for your love, blessings and support at this time. Fly brother, we love you to the fullest ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and come back!

34. Anita Pointer, 74 (31.12.)

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family of pointers, in the statement obtainedcb news, said: "While we are deeply saddened by Anita's passing, we are relieved to know that she is now with her daughter Jada and her sisters Joan and Bonnie. She was the one who brought us all closer for so long. Her love for our family will continue living in each of our hearts. Please respect our privacy in this time of grief and loss. Heaven is a place of love and Anita is more beautiful."

Pointer's only daughter, Jada, died in 2003, and sisters Bonnie and June died in 2020 and 2006, respectively.

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