By Darlene Donloe
2017 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 2017. 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 2018 approaches, let’s take a moment to reflect on the lasting memories they left behind. Let's have a moment of silence.
Jan. 7 - Sylvester Potts, The Contours. He was 78.
Jan. 8 - Pat Means, Turning Point Communications, Turning Point Magazine. She was 67.
Jan. 13 - Jewel Plummer Cobb, Cal State Fullerton president. She was 92.
Jan. 15 - Bishop Eddie Long. New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. He was 63.
Jan. 15 - Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. WWE Hall of Famer. He was 73.
Jan. 23 - Marvell Thomas, Stax/Memphis keyboardist/composer He was 75.
Feb. 12 – Al Jarreau, singer/musician. He was 76.
Feb. 13 - Jeremy Geathers, a former football player with the Orlando Predators. He was 30.
Feb 13 - Tyrone Lil’ Barkley, member of Detroit's 'The Undisputed Truth'.
Feb. 17 - Junie Morrison, founder of The Ohio Players. He was 62.
Feb. 17 - Clyde Stubblefield, “funky drummer” for James Brown. He was 73.
Feb. 23 - Leon Ware, artist-songwriter, composer. He was 77.
March 8 - Dave Valentin, Bronx-born Puerto Rican flutist/composer. He was 64.
March 10 - Joni Sledge. Member of the singing group Sister Sledge. She was 60.
March 13 - Maxx Kidd, Go-Go Music Pioneer. He was 75.
March 17 - Derek Walcott, a Nobel-prize winning poet. He was 87.
March 18 - Chuck Berry, rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was 90.
Apr. 4 - Brenda Jones, member of the R&B group The Jones Girls. She was 62.
Apr. 11 - Linda Hopkins. Tony-winning actress and singer. She was 92.
Apr. 12 - Charlie Murphy, actor/comedian. He was 57.
Apr. 13 – Scotty Miller, Instant Funk co-founder, and drummer.
Apr. 15 – Sylvia Moy, Motown songstress. She was 78.
Apr. 18 - Barkley L. Hendricks, American painter. He was 72.
Apr. 19 - Aaron Hernandez, NFL tight end. He was 28.
Apr. 20 - Cuba Gooding, Sr., lead singer of the R&B group, The Main Ingredient. He was 72.
Apr. 23 - Terri McCoy, director.
|Christopher "Big Black" Boykin|
May 9 - Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, half of MTV’s “Rob & Big”. He was 45.
May 21 - Morris “Butch” Stewart, Jr., musician, songwriter, singer and entrepreneur. He was 64.
May 29 - Curtis Womack, of the Womack Brothers and The Valentinos. He was 74.
June 20 - Albert ‘Prodigy’ Johnson, MC and Member of Mobb Deep.
June 27 - Geri Allen, pianist, composer, educator. She was 60.
June 27 - Tameka “Meechy” Monroe, natural hair blogger. She was 32.
July 5 - John Blackwell, Jr., drummer best known for his work with Prince. He was 43.
July 8 - Nelsan Ellis, the actor best known for playing Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s True Blood. He was 39.
July 15 - Christopher Wong Won, rapper and founding member of 2 Live Crew. He was 53.
July 18 - Dolores Marsalis, mother of the jazz greats Ellis and Wynton Marsalis. She was 80.
July 22 - Jim Vance, TV journalist. He was 75.
July 23 - Bobby Taylor, (and the Vancouvers) Motown band leader. He was 83.
Aug. 7 - Don Baylor, Major League baseball player. He was 68.
Aug. 14 - Benard Ighner, singer/songwriter. He was 72.
Aug. 19 - Dick Gregory, activist, comedian. He was 84.
Sept. 1 - Novella Nelson, actress. She was 77.
Sept. 5 - Rick Stevens, former lead singer of Tower of Power. He was 77.
Sept. 20 - Bernie Casey; actor, NFL wide receiver, poet, and painter. He was 78.
Sept. 23 - Charles Bradley, soul singer. He was 68.
Oct. 8 - Grady Tate, jazz drummer, and singer. He was 85.
Oct. 10 - Alvin John Waples, radio legend. He was 70.
Oct. 15 - Debbie Wright, original P-Funk Femme. She was 66.
Oct. 24 - Robert Guillaume, Emmy-winning Soap actor. Also appeared in Benson and Sports Night. He was 89.
Oct. 25 - Antoine "Fats" Domino, musician, singer. He was 89.
Oct. 29 - Keith Wilder, Heatwave co-founder, and singer. He was 65.
Nov. 8 - Jarvee Hutcherson, president of the Multicultural Motion Picture Association & American Society Of Young Musicians; producer and director, known for 20th Annual MMPA Night Before the Oscars: The Envelope Please (2014), The 1994 Annual Diversity Awards (1994) and The Annual Minority Motion Picture Awards (1993). He was 63.
Nov. 11 - Bobby Matos, Latin jazz percussionist, and bandleader.
Nov. 15 - David Cunningham, former L.A. City Councilman and community leader. He was 82.
Nov. 16 - Helen Borgers, Midday Jazz DJ/MD (KLON/KKJZ). She was 60.
Nov. 16 - Earle Hyman, stage, television, and film actor. Hyman is known for his role on ThunderCats as the voice of Panthro. He also appeared on The Cosby Show as Cliff's father, Russell Huxtable. He was 91.
Nov. 19 - Warren "Pete" Moore, bass singer, vocal arranger and original member of The Miracles. He was 78.
Nov. 19 - Della Reese, legendary actress, singer. She was 86.
Nov. 20 - Terry Glenn, former NFL wide receiver. He was 43.
Dec. 10 - Simeon Booker, chronicler of civil rights struggle for Jet and Ebony. He was the Washington bureau chief of Jet and Ebony magazines for five decades. He was 99.
Dec. 18 - Kevin Mahogany, jazz singer. He was 59.
Dec. 19 - Cliff Winston, Los Angeles radio personality. He worked at KJLH, MPact radio and KKBT. He was 63.