Eight Black Leaders We Lost in 2021

Eight Black Leaders We Lost in 2021

The legacy each has left behind, and the lives they have touched, will never be forgotten

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In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the virtual convention on August 18, 2020.
In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the virtual convention on August 18, 2020.
Screenshot: DNCC (Getty Images)

When former Secretary of State Colin Powell passed away, we were once again reminded of the vast number of important, influential Black leaders we have lost in 2021. Their contributions are many, and their impact is without question. Swipe along to pay tribute to those who’ve had a lasting impact on the Black community that’s not only far-reaching but forever meaningful.

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W. Sterling Cary


W. Sterling Cary

Rev. W. Sterling Cary, past President of the National Council of Churches, addressing a rally to stop U.S. intervention in Angola on the U.S. Capitol steps.
Rev. W. Sterling Cary, past President of the National Council of Churches, addressing a rally to stop U.S. intervention in Angola on the U.S. Capitol steps.
Photo: Edgar Lockwood
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Carl Bean


Carl Bean

Archbishop Carl Bean in an undated photo. A singer before becoming a preacher, he said he saw his 1977 recording of the song “I Was Born This Way” as “a sort of ministry to gay people.”Credit...
Archbishop Carl Bean in an undated photo. A singer before becoming a preacher, he said he saw his 1977 recording of the song “I Was Born This Way” as “a sort of ministry to gay people.”Credit...
Screenshot: Unity Fellowship Church Movement
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Screenshot: Bettmann Archive
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Image for article titled Eight Black Leaders We Lost in 2021
Screenshot: Rogelio V. Solis (AP)
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Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) speaks during a debate at a committee meeting July 29, 2014 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) speaks during a debate at a committee meeting July 29, 2014 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
Photo: Win McNamee (Getty Images)
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Alvin Sykes


Alvin Sykes

Alvin Sykes, who left high school in eighth grade, completed his education by reading legal textbooks at the public library and later used his vast knowledge of the law to pry open long-dormant murder cases from the civil rights era — including the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till — died on March 19 at a hospice facility in Shawnee, Kan. He was 64.
Alvin Sykes, who left high school in eighth grade, completed his education by reading legal textbooks at the public library and later used his vast knowledge of the law to pry open long-dormant murder cases from the civil rights era — including the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till — died on March 19 at a hospice facility in Shawnee, Kan. He was 64.
Screenshot: Kansas City Star
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Meredith C. Anding Jr.


Meredith C. Anding Jr.

Meredith C. Anding Jr., a member of the “Tougaloo Nine,” who famously participated in a library “read-in” in segregated Mississippi 60 years ago.
Meredith C. Anding Jr., a member of the “Tougaloo Nine,” who famously participated in a library “read-in” in segregated Mississippi 60 years ago.
Screenshot: Jay Johnson
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