Black people who have died from COVID-19

theGrio honors those who have lost their lives to the novel coronavirus with a digital memorial

The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has rocked the entire globe, and unfortunately, the Black community is no exception. 

Contrary to internet memes and online conspiracies, Black people and communities of color are not immune to the pandemic virus. While COVID-19 has impacted Black businesses and families financially, it has also tragically claimed the lives of countless Black people both in America and around the world. 

READ MORE: Should Black America be worried about Coronavirus?

In memory of those who’ve fallen victim to the novel coronavirus, theGrio has created a digital memorial to honor their lives and the legacy they left behind. We will continue to update this post. If someone Black in your family or community has died of COVID-19, and would like to share their story, email us.


Marlowe Stoudamire, 43

(Photo: Instagram)

Marlowe Stoudamire of Detroit had no underlying health issues and hadn’t recently traveled anywhere, yet he died March 24 from complications related to COVID-19. Stoudamire was a fixture in the Motor City community, creating Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward,” a Detroit Historical Society project that was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Detroit uprising a few years ago. The project won the National Medal for Museum and Library Science in 2018.

Captain Jonathan Parnell, 50

(Photo: FOX 2 Detroit)

Captain Jonathan Parnell was a 31-year public servant working as a career officer. Nicknamed “Recon,” he was in charge of the homicide unit based out of headquarters. Parnell died on March 24 of issues relating to the coronavirus. During his career, he worked in sex crimes, child abuse, and narcotics.

Commander Donafay Collins, 63

(Photo: The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office)

Commander Donafay Collins, a member of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, died on March 25 from COVID-19. He had an over 30-year career in law enforcement. Beyond his career on the police force, Collins worked as a DJ on 92.3 FM, a career he retired from in 2019. 

Manu Dibango, 86

Cameroonian-French saxophonist Manu Dibango (R) performs at the end of the Franck Sorbier Spring Summer 2018 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 24, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

Manu Dibango fused African rhythms with funk music to create a unique sound and become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music. Dibango died of the coronavirus on March 24, according to his music publisher. Dibango is survived by four children and a worldwide band of fans. 

Dezann Romain, 36

Dezann Romain theGrio.com

Dezann Romain (photo from Brooklyn Democracy Academy Instagram page)

Dezann Romain headed up the Brooklyn Democracy Academy in Brownsville died of COVID-19 on March 23. Romain was respected by her students, mostly older youth who struggled in a regular high school setting. She had worked in administration at the academy since 2017. 

Oliver Stokes Jr. (DJ Black N Mild), 44

Oliver Stokes Jr., also known as DJ Black N Mild, died of complications relating to coronavirus on March 19. DJ Black N Mild was important to the New Orleans community, serving as the emcee for parties and events across the city. He also worked as the school suspension coordinator at the Arthur Ashe Charter School.

Patricia Frieson, 61

Patricia Frieson

Patricia Frieson (Credit Chicago Sun Times/Family)

Patricia Frieson, died of COVID-19 one day after testing positive on March 16. On March 12, Frieson went to urgent care at the University of Chicago Medical Center complaining of difficulty breathing for several days prior. The retired nurse is remembered as a kind and caring person who was nice to everyone she encountered. Her death was the first in Illinois due to coronavirus. 

Ives Green, 58

Ives Green (Photo Courtesy of the Family)

Ives Green, an award-winning Special Olympics athlete, became the first person in Louisiana to succumb to the coronavirus on March 14. Green lived in a facility for people with developmental delays and reportedly had limited contact with the outside world. 

Larry Edgeworth, 61

(Photo: Instagram)

Larry Edgeworth, an NBC staffer, died of coronavirus on March 19. Edgeworth worked in an equipment room at NBC News’ 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York. He is survived by his wife and two children and remembered dearly by those who knew him personally and professionally. 

Mary Roman, 83

(Photo: Facebook)

Mary Roman, senior athlete, and city official in Connecticut died of COVID-19 on March 23,. Roman was a decorated athlete and held the American record in the shot put in the women’s 65-69, 70-74 and 75-79 age groups. She is remembered as a loving and active member of the Norwalk, Connecticut community.

Pastor Ronnie Hampton 

(Photo: Facebook)

Pastor Ronnie Hampton of New Vision Community Church in Shreveport, LA, died March 25 of COVID-19. Pastor Hampton initiated the ‘Takin’ It To The Streets’ movement, scheduled to go on in June. Through his church, Pastor Hampton worked with the Northwest Lousiana food bank to provide meals for families in need every third Saturday.

Zororo Makamba, 30

(Photo: Zimbo Live News)

Zororo Makamba, a journalist in Zimbabwe died of COVID-19 on March 23. Makamba was the first person to die in the country from the coronavirus. Makamba excelled as a TV personality, trusted journalist, and executive producer.

Lawrence Riley, 66

Lawrence Riley, a retired Navy veteran in Milwaukee died of COVID-19 on March 19. Riley served during the Vietnam War and was a retired firefighter in his community. Riley is survived by a wife and multiple children.

Reverend Isaac Graham

(Photo: Macedonia Baptist Church)

Reverend Issac Graham of Harlem died of COVID-19, reported on March 26, 2020. Reverend Graham lead the congregation at the Macedonia Baptist Church for more than 40 years. Reverend Graham is survived by his wife of over 45 years.

Corey Reed Sr. died of COVID-19 in Atlanta, Georgia on March 25. Reed is survived by friends and family, including his son, Corey Reed Jr. an athlete at the University of Lousiville.

Wanda Bailey, 63

Wanda Bailey died of COVID-19 related complications on March 25 in Olympia Fields, Illinois. The Cook County medical examiner’s office said Bailey died of pneumonia due to a COVID-19 infection, with heart disease, hypertension and lung disease listed as contributing factors, the Chicago Tribune reports. Her younger sister Patricia Frieson also died due to the illness.

Conrad Buchanan, 39

(Photo: GoFundMe)

Conrad Buchanan died of COVID-19 on March 26. The popular Fort Myers, Florida DJ warned others to stay vigilant with their health. He documented his battle with the illness on social media. Buchanan is survived by a wife and daughter.

Jaquan Anderson, 17

Jaquan Anderson died after testing positive for COVID-19 in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 22. The student-athlete is survived by his parents. Anderson had dreams of playing in the NFL.

Adrian Grubbs, 37 

(Photo: WNCN)

Adrian Grubbs died of COVID-19 complications on March, 25 in Raleigh, N.C. He worked for the city in Solid Waste Services for 17 years. Grubbs is survived by a wife and three children.

Dennis Dickson, 62

(Photo: Instagram)

Dennis Dickson died of COVID-19 on March 26, 2020. Dickson was a custodian for the New York City Police Department. Dickson spent 17 days at police headquarters during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 helping with emergency cleanup operations.

Nashom Wooden, 50

Mona Foot theGrio.com

Screenshot from the Drag Showcase Instagram video of Mona Foot

Nashom Wooden died of COVID-19 on March 23. Wooden was a popular drag performer in the New York City club scene as the persona Mona Foot. Wooden also was a member of an electronic dance band, The Ones.

April Dunn, 33

April Dunn_thegrio

April Dunn in undated photo with La. Gov. (Courtesy of Louisiana Governor’s Office.)

April Dunn, who worked in the office of disability affairs for Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, died due to coronavirus complications on March 28. Dunn, who worked with businesses to make their staffs more inclusive, was instrumental in helping to pass Act 833 of 2014, which provides an alternative pathway to diplomas for individuals with disabilities. She also served as chairwoman of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council.

Bassey Offiong, 25

Bassey Offiong theGrio.com

Bassey Offiong (Picture Courtesy of The Family)

Bassey Offiong, a college student at Western Michigan University, died due to coronavirus over the weekend of March 28, 2020. Offiong studied engineering and was scheduled to graduate this spring. Unfortunately his according to his sister, Offiong’s death comes after multiple healthcare institutions denied him the COVID-19 test.

Priscilla Carrow

Priscilla Carrow theGrio.com

Queens hospital worker, Priscilla Carrow, dies due to COVID-19 (Photo courtesy of CWA Local 1180)

Priscilla Carrow died of COVID-19 on March 30, 2020. Carrow worked as the coordinating manager at Elmhurst hospital. She also worked as the director of community relations with the New York Senate. Carrow was active in her community and active in her worker’s union. Carrow is survived by two children.

Freddie Brown III, 20

Image via WNEM-TV (wnem.com)

Freddie Brown III died due to coronavirus on March 29, 2020. Brown was a high school football player at Grand Blanc High School. Brown III is remembered as a skilled athlete and a loving person by his peers and coaches. His father Freddie Brown Jr also died of COVID-19.

Freddie Brown Junior, 57

Freddie Brown Junior died of coronavirus on March 24, 2020. Brown Jr. served as an elder at the Jackson Memorial Temple in Flint, Michigan. His son Freddie Brown III also died of COVID-19.

Pastor Kevelin B. Jones, 72

Pastor Kevelin B Jones, Courtesy
FOX66 & NBC25 Mid-MichiganNOW via nbc25news.com

Pastor Kevelin B. Jones of Flint, Michigan died of COVID-19 on March 26, 2020. Pastor Jones served the congregation at the Bountiful Love Ministries Church of God where he started as the administrative assistant in 1997. Pastor Jones is survived by his wife and children.

Bishop Robert E. Smith Sr., 

Courtesy WNEM via wnem.com

Bishop Robert E. Smith Sr died of COVID-19 on March 26, 2020. Smith Sr. served as a bishop with the Bountiful Love Ministries Church of God in Flint, Michigan.

Freda Ocran, 50

Courtesy of New York Post via nypost.com

Freda Ocran died of COVID-19 on March 29, 2020. A Bronx local with Ghanaian roots Ocran worked as the head nurse of Jacobi Medical Center’s psychiatric unit.  She is remembered as a passionate and caring nurse. Ocran advocated for more coronavirus testing before dying of the illness.

Pastor Timothy Russell

Courtesy of WMC5 via wmcactionnews5.com (Source: Second Presbyterian Church)

Pastor Timothy Russell of Memphis, Tenn died of complications from COVID-19 on March 30, 2020. Pastor Russell served as Assistant Pastor to the middle adults at Second Presbyterian Church. Pastor Russell was also a member of the EPC’s Revelation 7:9 Task Force.

Wallace Roney, 59

Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Renowned Jazz musician Wallace Roney died of COVID-19 on March 31, 2020. Roney is remembered as a phenomenal trumpet player and a global force in Jazz music. The Grammy-award winning artist was mentored by Miles Davis.

Jason Hargrove,  50

Image via Facebook

Jason Hargrove of Detroit, Mich died on April 1, 2020 of COVID-19. Hargrove was an essential worker, serving as a bus driver for the city since 2016. Before his death, Hargrove advocated for riders and citizens of Detroit to take coronavirus seriously. Hargrove is survived by a wife.

Ellis Marsalis, 85

Chris Granger/New Orleans Advocate

Ellis Marsalis of New Orleans died of pneumonia related to COVID-19. A monumental figure in Jazz music and New Orleans culture, Marsalis lead the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. Marsalis is known as the patriarch of Jazz music’s ‘First Family,’ with sons trumpeter Wynton, saxophonist Branford, trombonist Delfeayo and drummer Jason.

Patrick Jones, 49

Patrick Jones, 49, became the first person to die in federal prison of coronavirus.

Patrick Jones died of COVID-19 on March 28, 2020, in a federal prison in Louisiana. He had been attempting an early release under the 2018 First Step Act. Jones had been sentenced in 2007 to 27 years for possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell. He is survived by a son.

Leilani Jordan, 27

Image via Facebook

Leilani Jordan died of COVID-19 on April 1, 2020. Jordan, a resident of Prince George County, Maryland worked at Giant grocery store. Jordan is remembered by her brother as motivated and caring.

Tamajin Ali, 49

Image via Facebook

Tamajin Ali died of COVID-19 on April 5, 2020. He worked as a nursing supervisor at Centennial Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Philadelphia. Ali is remembered as a loving father, grandfather, and sibling.

Wando Evans, 51

Image via Facebook

Wando Evans died of complications caused by COVID-19 on March 25, 2020. Evans worked at a local Walmart in Evergreen Park, Illinois as an overnight stock and maintenance associate.

Phillip Thomas, 48

Phillip Thomas died of complications caused by COVID-19 on March 29, 2020. Thomas worked as an employee at a local Walmart in Evergreen Park, Illinois.

Tony Greer

Tony Greer died of complications related to COVID-19. Greer worked as a studio camera operator for the news broadcast Good Morning America since 2016. He is survived by his long-time girlfriend, his mother, his siblings, and his nieces and nephews.

Skylar Herbert, 5

Skylar Herbert theGrio.com

Skylar Herbert (Facebook)

Five-year-old Skylar Herbert of Detroit, Michigan, died of complications related to COVID-19 on April 19, 2020. Skylar had hopes of becoming a pediatric dentist in adulthood. She is remembered by her mother has a funny child with a beautiful spirit.

Gregory Hodge, 59

Gregory Hodge theGrio.com

Gregory Hodge, (via FDNY Twitter account)

Gregory Hodge of New York City, New York died of COVID-19. Hodge worked as an emergency medical technician and was assigned to New York City Emergency Management since October 2016, Hodge is remembered as a skilled worker and beloved colleague of both the FDNY and NYCEM.

Willie Wilkerson, 72

Willie Wilkerson and Aretha Franklin theGrio.com

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 17: Willie Wilkerson (L) and Aretha Franklin attend the opening of the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Jazz at Lincoln Center)

Willie Wilkerson, a native of Detroit Michigan, died of COVID-19 on April 8, 2020. Wilkerson served as a firefighter in Detroit and was a U.S. Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. Wilkerson dated and remained good friends with the late Aretha Franklin. He is survived by his wife Doris Ogburn, three daughters, a son, 10 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Judge Johnny Lee Baynes, 64

Judge Johnny Lee Baynes theGrio.com

Judge Johnny Lee Baynes (Facebook)

Judge Johnny Lee Baynes of New York died of pneumonia related to COVID-19 on March 26, 2020. Judge Baynes served in Civil Court in Brooklyn. Judge Baynes was known among his colleagues as operating a fair courtroom, no matter the subject.

Pastor Gerald O. Glenn, 66

Pastor Gerald O. Glenn died of COVID-19 on April 11, 2020. Pastor Glenn was the founder of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Chesterfield, Virginia. Pastor Glenn is survived by a wife, two daughters and a son-in-law.

 Janice Rodman, 52

Janice Rodman

Janice Rodman (Credit: Bed Stuy YMCA Facebook)

Janice Rodman of Brooklyn, New York died of COVID-19 on March 30, 2020. Rodman worked at New York’s Sterling National Bank, and also handled the reception desk at the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA one day a week. Rodman is remembered as being stern yet friendly and kind by the YMCA staff and clientele. She is survived by a daughter.

Frederick Thomas, 35

Fred The Godson attends the Slowbucks.TV Re-Launch at Taj Lounge on January 3, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Frederick Thomas of Bronx, New York, known professionally as rapper Fred The Godson died of COVID-19 on April 23, 2020. His lyrical skills landed him a spot on XXL’s coveted ‘Freshman Cover’ in 2011 alongside Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, and Meek Mill.

Brent Green, 36

Brent Green (Credit: Cora Moore)

Brent Green died of COVID-19 complications on April 3, 2020. A resident of Fulton County, Georgia, Green worked for a local Atlanta business and was successful professionally. She is survived by twin sons.

Lloyd Cornelius Porter, 49

Lloyd C. Porter theGrio.com

Lloyd C. Porter (Instagram)

Lloyd C. Porter of Brooklyn died of COVID-19 complications. Porter worked as an entrepreneur and actor. Together with his wife Hillary, Porter owned a bakery named Bread Stuy and another eatery Bread Love. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and remembered as a loving person by his business patrons.

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