In the words of Samuel L. Jackson, “it matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.”
Throughout 2022, we have lost significant contributors, pioneers, trailblazers, trendsetters, and innovators to Black culture and the world at large. From TV and film, sports, music, politics, art, beauty, comedy, philanthropy, we’ve witnessed the transition of some of the most beloved, barrier-breakers, and warriors in their respective fields. From one of our greatest warriors, Chadwick Bowman in Black Panther said, “In my culture…Death is not the end”.
At WRNBHD2, we pay homage to the lives who have passed away in 2022 and the legacies that will continue to live:
Rest In Power: Notable Black People Who We’ve Lost In 2022 was originally published on wrnbhd2.com
1. Sidney Poitier Dead at 94, First Black Man to Win Oscar
Sidney Poitier was the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for his starring role in “Lilies of the Field” in 1963.
Our beloved, Sidney Poitier, the legendary actor, pioneer, trailblazer and activist who broke many racial and color barriers in the entertainment industry, starring some of Hollywoods most iconic movies ever, has passed away at 94.
Mr. Poitier’s death was confirmed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell, however the circumstances surrounding his death have not yet been revealed.
Sir Poitier, a beyond great man and activist was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Barak Obama for his outstanding work and contributions.
2. Jessie Lee Daniels Of The Force MD’s Dies At 57
It’s a sad day for Staten Island Hip-Hop and R&B, and the world. Jessie Lee Daniels of The Force MD’s has reportedly died at 57.
The singer’s management confirmed his passing on Facebook.
“Please put a heart up for him. He was loved!!!!!!!!!! TO the family, friends and fans today we lost a real talent. Our condolences goes out to his siblings, kids and the Force MDs,” reads the post as reported by The Mirror.
Hailing from Staten Island, the Force MD’s were originally known as the Force MC’s. However, at the height of their popularity they were an R&B vocal group with hits like the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced “Tender Love” and “Love is a House” that are certified classics.
Daniels, who was the uncle of members Stevie D., Antoine “T.C.D.” Lundy, and Rodney “Khalil” Lundy, is credited as a founder of the group.
Rest in Power Jessie Lee Daniels. Read More at ClassixPhilly.com
3. Max Julien
Born Maxwell Banks, Julien was 88. Despite various birth dates listed for Julien online, TMZ confirmed that he was born on Jan. 1, 1933. The Washington, D.C. native was a Howard University alum and member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
Best known for his role as the pimp Goldie in the Blaxploitation film “The Mack,” Julien also co-wrote the screenplay for “Cleopatra Jones.” By the time Julien starred in “The Mack” and “Cleopatra Jones,” he had been acting for over 20 years.
He appeared in “The Mod Squad” and his big-screen debut in the 1966 film “The Black Klansman,” not to be confused with the 2018 Spike Lee film with a similar title. Lee’s movie is an adaptation of a memoir by Ron Stallworth, while the 1966 version was initially released under the title “I Crossed the Color Line.”
Julien remained an active presence on screen with a scene-stealing performance in the 1997 Def Jam film “How To Be A Player.” In a statement provided to TMZ, Julien’s PR team said his wife Arabella discovered him early Saturday morning.
“During Julien’s decades-long career, he was known for being bold, honest and straightforward,” read the statement. “He would live and speak his own truth both professionally and privately. He was thought of as a rare ‘man among men.’”
Actor and direct Robert Townsend paid tribute to Julien on Twitter.
“My first cinematic heroes has passed. Today we lost actor, writer, producer and director Max Julian,” tweeted Townsend. “In college, I would act out scenes from THE MACK, it’s still one of my favorite movies. Thank you Mr. Julian for making me think outside the box… God bless his soul.”