By Darlene Donloe
2016 is coming to an end!!! It’s time to pay tribute to the lives of some extraordinary African Americans who closed their eyes for the last time in 2016. They include community leaders, activists, actors, writers, directors, musicians, politicians and sports figures. All were influential in their own way. This column pays tribute to those who passed this way.
So, as 2017 approaches, let’s take a moment to reflect on those lives. Lets have a moment of silence.
Jan. 1 – Natalie Cole, R&B, pop and jazz singer. She was 65.
Jan. 2 - Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, afrocentrist psychiatrist, race theorist, scholar and author of The Isis Papers. She was 80.
Jan. 3 - Cortez Thompson, industry veteran from Warner Bros. and radio.
Jan. 5 – Nicholas Caldwell of The Whispers. He was 71.
Jan. 8 – Otis Clay, Soul singer and Blues Hall of Fame Inductee. He was 73.
Jan. 11 – Monte Irvin, Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder. He was 96.
Jan. 13 – Lawrence Phillips, former NFL player. He was 40.
Jan. 17 - Clarence Reid, better known by many as his alter-ego "BLOWFLY". He was 76.
Jan. 25 – Norman Mayers, writer and multi-faceted artist. He was 37.
Feb. 4 – Maurice White, founder of Earth, Wind & Fire. He was 74.
Feb. 15 - Willie B. Holland, The Persuaders.
Feb. 15 - Denise Matthews, aka Vanity. She was 57.
Feb. 25 - Tony Burton, actor in Rocky films and former boxing champion. He was 78.
Feb. 26 - Amelia Boynton Robinson, civil rights activist; first Black female to run for Congress in Alabama. She was 104.
March 1 - Stack Pierce, actor. He was 82.
March 3 – Gavin Christopher, singer. He was 59.
March 10 - Ernestine Anderson, jazz singer. She was 87.
March 12 - Cameron Turner, journalist, commentator. He was 52.
March 16 – Daryl Coley, minister, gospel singer. He founded the Love Fellowship Tabernacle in Los Angeles. He was 60.
March 16 - Lee Andrews, lead singer of the Philadelphia doo-wop group Lee Andrews & the Hearts and father of The Roots drummer Questlove, died yesterday. He was 79.
March 18 – Tray Walker, Baltimore Ravens cornerback. He was 23.
March 19 – Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan. Writer and historian. He was 96.
March 21 – Larry Payton, drummer with Brass Construction.
March 24 – James Jamerson Jr., bassist. He was 58.
March 23 - Ruth Inge Hardison, an African American sculptor, artist, and photographer, known particularly for her 1960s busts (or sculpted portraits) entitled Negro Giants in History.
March 25 - Clarence Graham, Friendship Nine member, civil rights activist. He was 73.
March 28 – David Baker, jazz teacher and musician. He was 84.
April 3 - Bill Henderson, jazz artist and actor. He was 90.
April 3 - Dr. Joe Medicine Crow, was a historian and author of the Crow Nation of Native Americans. Also, he was the last Plains Indian war chief. He was 102.
April 3 - Alma Arrington Brown, the wife of the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown. She was 76. She died April 3, 2016—exactly 20 years to the day of her husband’s death.
April 6 - Leon Haywood, funk and disco singer. He was 74.
April 7 - Dennis Davis, longtime David Bowie drummer.
April 8 - Daisy Lewellyn, “Blood, Sweat and Heels” star. Style expert and TV personality, known as the Queen of Effortless Chic. She was on Dressing for Success. She was 36.
April 10 – Nicholas Hood. Civil rights leader. He was 92.
April 11 – Doug Banks. Radio personality. He was 57.
April 21 – PRINCE, GENIUS. He was 57.
April 24 – Billy Paul, soul singer. He was 81.
April 24 – Ron Brace. Ex- New England Patriots lineman. He was 29.
April – Tomie L. Gaines, the last Buffalo Soldier. He was 93.
May 3 – Afeni Shakur, mother of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. She was 69.
May 12 - Susannah Mushatt Jones, was a “supercentenarian,” meaning she was the world’s oldest living person and last living American born in the 1800’s. She was 116.
May 22 - Raymond Gavins. Pioneering historian.
May 27 – Marshall “Rock” Jones, Ohio Players' bassist. He was 75.
May 28 - Cassandra Quin Butts, former Deputy White House Counsel. She was 50.
June 3 – Former Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali. He was 74.
June 3 - Drummer Nate Neblett, an original member of The Nite-Liters/New Birth.
June 6 – Kimbo Slice, MMA Fighter. He was 42.
June 16 - Attrell Cordes, one half of the early 90’s hip hop group P.M. Dawn. He was 46.
June 24 – Bernie Worrell, keyboardist Parliament-Funkadelic. He was 72.
June 27 - Mack Rice. He wrote Mustang Sally. He was 82.
July 5 – Roscoe Brown, Jr., Tuskegee Airman. He was 94.
July 9 – Vaughn Harper, disc jockey, WBLS Quiet Storm Pioneer. He was 71.
July 15 – Nate Thurmond, NBA Legend and Hall of Famer. He was 74.
July 22 - Dennis Green, coach of the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals. He was 67.
July 26 – Miss Cleo. '90s Television psychic. She was 53.
July 27 - Saxophonist Allan Barnes. Best known as a member of the original Blackbyrds. He was 67.
Aug. 5 - Dominique Trenier, manager/creative director.
Aug. 6 – Dr. Sebi (Alfredo Bowman) Natural medicine proponent. The doctor naturalist of luminaries such as Michael Jackson, Lisa Lopez and Steven Seagal. He was 82.
Aug. 7 – Inez Y. Kaiser, the first black woman to own a national public relations firm. She was 98.
Aug. 10 – John Saunders, ESPN sports journalist. He was 61.
Aug. 10 – Jimmy Levine, keyboardist, saxophonist and producer. He was 62.
Aug. 15 - Bobby Hutcherson, jazz vibraphonist. He was 75.
Aug. 15 – Edwin ‘Rip’ Smith, first minority tenured professor at USC. He was 66.
Aug. 20 – George Curry, veteran journalist. He was 69.
Aug. 21 – Justin Lishey, a rapper known as Kid Cali. He was 30.
Aug. 22 – Antwon Jackson, hairstylist for Wendy Williams. He was 44.
The Lady Chablis
Sept. 8 – The Lady Chablis. Appeared in Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil. She was 59.
Sept. 16 – Trisco Pearson. Founding member of Force MDs.
Sept 21 – Ed Temple. Legendary track and field coach. Temple was head Women's Track and Field coach at Nashville's Tennessee State University for 44 years and was head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women's Track and Field Team twice, in 1960 and 1964, and Assistant Coach in 1980. He was 89.
Sept. 21 - Shawty Lo, hip hop artist. He was 40.
Sept. 24 – Actor Bill Nunn. Best known as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing. He was 62.
Sept. 25 – Kashif (Saleem), producer, singer, songwriter. He was 59.
Sept. 29 – Lecresia Campbell, gospel singer. She was 53.
Oct. 12 – Tommy Ford. Actor on Martin and The Parkers. He was 52.
Oct. 12 – Robert Bateman, Motown singer/songwriter. He was 80.
Oct. - Alice Arthur, comedienne.
Oct. 16 – Larry “Bingo” Marcus, founding member of the 90s R&B group The Rude Boys. He was
Oct. 22 – Herb Kent, Chicago radio legend. He was 88.
Nov. 1 - Bill Shearer, former VP/GM and owner of KGFJ-LA.
Nov. 1 - E.J. Jackson of Jackson Limousines. He was 66.
Nov. 1 – Don Marshall, actor on Star Trek and Land of the Giants. He was 80.
Nov. 4 - Madonna Grimes, personal trainer, dance fitness expert, choreographer.
Nov. 11 – Victor Bailey, bassist/composer/singer/producer. He was 56.
Nov. 18 – Sharon Jones, lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. She was 60.
Nov. 20 – Houston Conwill, artist/sculptor. He was 69.
Nov. 25 – Colonel Abrams. Singer/songwriter/musician. He was 67.
Nov. 26 – Ron Glass, director/actor starred in Barney Miller. He was 71.
Nov. 29 – Brazilian Soccer Players.
Dec. 1 – Joe McKnight, former USC and professional football player. He was 28.
Dec. 4 - Ralph Johnson, former Impressions lead singer. He was 67.
Dec. 11 – Willie Joe Ligon, lead singer of the Mighty Clouds of Joy. He was 74.
Dec. 12 - E. R. Braithwaite, author of To Sir, With Love. He was 104.
Dec. 21 - Mar Brown, SVP of Urban Promotion Atlantic Records. He was 42.
Dec. 25 – Ricky Harris, comedian. He was 54.
Dec. 26 – Alphonse Mouzon, prolific jazz fusion drummer. He was 68.
Dec. 29 – Keion Carpenter, former NFL and Virginia Tech safety. He was 39.