In Memoriam 2019
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As a new year unfurls in front of us, it’s only natural to be grateful to witness the dawn of a new decade. Unfortunately, some of Black America’s favorite celebrities did not make it to 2020. From an actual diva (opera) to an acclaimed director of classic films to a beloved author to a fervent freedom fighter, we lost numerous Black notables who have left an indelible impact on the world. There were numerous Black lives lost in 2019 and this modest list of 15 is not exhaustive. However, we will continue to appreciate and honor the work of each person who touched our lives.

JAMES INGRAM (February 16, 1952- January 29, 2019)

James Ingram
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – SEPTEMBER 29: Recording artist James Ingram attends the fund raiser for the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on September 29, 2004 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images).


KRISTOFF ST. JOHN (July 15, 1966-February 3, 2019)

Kristoff St. John
HOLLYWOOD – JUNE 20: Actor Kristoff St. John poses with the Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series award for “The Young and the Restless” in the press room at the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on June 20, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)



NIPSEY HUSSLE (August 15, 1985-March 31, 2019)

Nipsey Hussle
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 07: Nipsey Hussle attends the Warner Music Pre-Grammy Party at the NoMad Hotel on February 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Warner Music)



JOHN SINGLETON (January 6, 1968-April 28, 2019)

John Singleton
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Director John Singleton arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Awards held at Kodak Theatre on February 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

 

MELVIN EDMONDS (September 2, 1954-May 18,2019)

Melvin Edmonds
Melvin Edmonds (Entertainment One)



BUSHWICK BILL (December 8, 1966-June 9,2019)

Bushwick Bill
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 08: Rapper Bushwick Bill arrives at the G.O.O.D Music “Heavenly” Grammy After Party held at The Lot Studios on February 8, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images)



PERNELL “SWEETPEA’ WHITAKER (January 2,1964-July 14,2019)

Pernell Whitaker
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 8: Pernell Whitaker, trainer of Zab Judah, speaks at a press conference to discuss their upcoming Super Lightweight World Championship Unification Fight with Amir Khan at ESPN Zone At L.A. Live on June 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)



TONI MORRISON (February 18,1931-August 5, 2019)

Toni Morrison
PARIS – NOVEMBER 04: US Author and Nobel Prize in literature winner Toni Morrison receives the Honor Medal of The City of Paris (Grand Vermeil) at Mairie de Paris on November 4, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)



LASHAWN DANIELS (December 28, 1977-September 3, 2019)

LaShawn Daniels
SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA – AUGUST 29: Lashawn Daniels attends The 2019 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards at Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center on August 29, 2019 in Sandy Springs, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BMI)



JESSYE NORMAN (September 15, 1945-September 30, 2019)

Jessye Norman
HALLE, GERMANY – APRIL 1: American opera singer Jessye Norman performs at the talk and game show “Wetten Dass . . . ?” April 1, 2006 in Halle, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)



DIAHANN CARROLL (July 17,1935-October 4, 2019)

Diahann Carroll
HOLLYWOOD, CA – MAY 08: Actress Diahann Carroll arrives at the premiere of “Peeples” presented by Lionsgate Film and Tyler Perry at ArcLight Hollywood on May 8, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)



ELIJAH CUMMINGS (January 18, 1951-October 17, 2019)

Elijah Cummings
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 07: House Oversight ant Reform Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings speaks at the National Press Club August 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Cummings addressed members of the organization during a luncheon and touched on a number of issues including ongoing investigations of U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)


JOHN CONYERS (May 16, 1929-October 27, 2019)

John Conyers
WASHINGTON – JULY 12: U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) waits for former White House councel Harriet Miers to arrive and testify before the Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee July 12, 2007 in Washington, DC. On the advice of her lawyer and the White House, Miers did not honor the committee’s subpeona and did not show up to testify for the open hearing, titled “The Continuing Investigation into the U.S. Attorneys Controversy and Related Matters.” (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)



JOHN WITHERSPOON (February 27,  1942-October 29, 2019)

John Witherspoon
BURBANK, CA – JANUARY 20: Actor John Witherspoon arrives at the first anniversary celebration of the Artpeace Gallery on January 20, 2007 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)



Juice WRLD (December 2, 1998-December 8, 2019)

Juice WRLD
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 01: Juice Wrld poses with the award for Best New Artist in the press room during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 01, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for dcp)