2005 was a year we won’t soon forget after Hurricane Katrina, and it was a year that we lost many prominent blacks who made a difference, both nationally and locally. Their physical presence is no longer with us, but each person has left us with great memories and inspiration. Following are some of those we remember with admiration:
? Ed Bailey, 91, on Nov. 20, founder of SACCC (South Austin Coalition Community Council)
? Obie Benson, 69, on July 1, member of the Four Tops music group
? Lamont Bentley, 31, on Jan. 18, actor, appeared in sitcom Moesha, also portrayed Tupac Shakur in the TV movie, killed in a car crash.
? Oscar Brown, Jr., 78, on May 29, singer, actor, playwright
? Little Milton Campbell, 70, on Aug. 4, Blues artist
? Shirley Chisholm, 80, on Jan. 1, congresswoman, first woman to bid for Democratic presidential nomination (1972).
? Johnny Cochran, 67, on March 29, attorney
? Ossie Davis, 87, on Feb. 4, actor, director, playwright
? Tyrone Davis, 66, on Feb. 1, Rhythm & Blues artist
? James Forman, 76, on Jan. 10, civil rights activist, key organizer of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), as executive secretary was instrumental in organizing freedom riders of the 1960s.
? Clarence “Big House” Gaines, 81, on April 18, legendary basketball coach at Winston-Salem State University, inducted into Hall of Fame in 1982.
? Junius Gaten, 105, on Nov. 30, Chicago activist, oral historian
? Daryl F. Grisham, 79, on Nov. 30, president and CEO, Parker House Sausage company in Chicago.
? Shirley Horn, 71, on Oct. 20, Jazz artist and pianist
? Willie Hutch, 71, on Sept. 19, singer and Motown producer, wrote the Jackson 5 song, “I’ll Be There,” and the soundtrack to the movie Hustle and Flow.
? John H. Johnson, 87, on Aug. 8, founder and publisher of Johnson Publishing Co.
? Vivian Malone Jones, 63, on Oct. 13, first black graduate of University of Arkansas, Gov. George Wallace stood in school doorway to block Vivian Malone’s entry.
? Mark Matthews, 111, on Sept. 6, oldest Buffalo Soldier
? Constance Baker Motley, 84, on Sept. 28, first black female federal judge, her father was chef for the legendary Skull & Bones Club of Yale University.
? Earl L. Neal, 76, on Feb. 13, attorney who cleared the way for major Chicago developments, including acquiring the land for the Dan Ryan Expressway
? Rosa Parks, 92, on Oct. 24, mother of Civil Rights Movement
? Alzata Pincham, 79, on April 9, educator and wife of Chicago Judge R. Eugene Pincham
? Edward Patten, 65, on Feb. 25, member of Gladys Knight & The Pips
? Brock Peters, 78, on Aug. 23, actor, To Kill A Mockingbird and The Pawnbroker among his memorable films
? Richard Pryor, 65, on Dec. 10, comedian, actor
? Theodore Roosevelt “Double Duty” Radcliffe, 103, on Aug. 11, Negro League baseball star
? Eugene Record, 64, on July 22, member of Chi-Lites recording group
? Nipsey Russell, 80, on Oct. 3, comedian, actor
? Bobby Short, 80, on March 21, cabaret performer whose elegant style was legendary, was friends with Gloria Vanderbilt, Truman Capote and Jackie Kennedy Onassis
? Jimmy Smith, 79, on Feb. 9, Jazz organist
? C. Delores Tucker, 78, on Oct. 12, civil rights activist and former Pennsylvania secretary of state, campaigned against violent rap lyrics
? Luther Vandross, 54, on July 1, singer, songwriter
? August Wilson, 60, on Oct. 10, playwright
? Ronald Winans, 48, on June 17, second oldest and member of famous music group, The Winans
? Jimmy Young, 56, on Feb. 20, heavyweight boxer, fought Muhammad Ali in 1976 in 15-round bout that Ali won, although many thought Ali really lost
?”Compiled by Delores McCain