Obituaries

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John “Pops” Witherspoon was black as hell. Or as Ice Cube put it, “Life won’t be as funny without him.” He’s right. It won’t. The legendary actor and comedian died at his Sherman Oaks, Calif., home on Oct. 29 at the age of 77. The laughs, characters and moments Witherspoon leaves...
For much of her life – extending well into her grandmother years – Lorene Jones was a go-getter with a deep-rooted passion for growth and development in South Memphis. The 88-year-old community matriarch passed away last Sunday, Oct. 27. “Lorene Jones was a grandmother, and she organized the other grandmothers into...
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John Conyers — the longest serving black congressman in U.S. history — has passed away. The longtime Michigan Democrat who represented Detroit died Sunday at age 90. PBS Newshour’s White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor broke the news on Twitter that he died in his sleep, after confirming the death with family...
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the long-serving Democratic congressman from Maryland, died early Thursday morning at the age of 68. Cummings died at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital at 2:45 a.m. Thursday “due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” the lawmaker’s office said in a statement, according to WBAL...
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By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY, AP Entertainment Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Diahann Carroll, the Oscar-nominated actress and singer who won critical acclaim as the first black woman to star in a non-servant role in a TV series as "Julia," has died. She was 84. Carroll's daughter, Susan Kay, told The Associated...
by Wiley Henry Special to The New Tri-State Defender The name Linda Taylor Sengstacke was synonymous with the Black Press in the 1970s and ’80s. She was the editor-in-chief of the Tri-State Defender during that time and followed the tradition of attacking issues head-on without fear or favor, an approach to...
Funeral Services for William Hudson Jr., the first African American to serve as president and general manager of the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA), will be held at Monumental Baptist Church on Saturday (Aug. 31). Mr. Hudson passed on Aug. 23. He was 79. The celebration of his trailblazing legacy is...
UPDATE: Arrangements have been finalized for former Memphis news anchorwoman Donna Davis, who died Sunday at the age of 47. Davis’ visitation services will take place Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Joe Ford Funeral Home at 1616 Winchester Rd. Funeral services will be held on Saturday starting at...
Baxter Richard Leach used his voice to cry out for the respect and dignity of sanitation workers oppressed by unsanitary and unsafe working conditions and racist attitudes. It all came to a head on Feb. 1, 1968 when two friends and colleagues were crushed to death in a malfunctioning...
Doris Thomas Hill, the founder and chief administrator of the South Memphis-based ESPN Academy, was determined to make the academy’s 19th anniversary celebration the best ever. Last Friday (Aug. 2) just after 5 p.m., Mrs. Hill passed away at Baptist Memorial Hospital.  She was 67.  “The banquet will go on as...