Queen Elizabeth Is Gone, But Here Are More of the Black Queens We Wish Were Still With Us [Update]

Queen Elizabeth Is Gone, But Here Are More of the Black Queens We Wish Were Still With Us [Update]

Now that the world has said their goodbyes to Queen Elizabeth, we want to remember the Black women, our Queens, we miss so damn much.

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Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Marva Hicks with Smokey Robinson
Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Marva Hicks with Smokey Robinson
Photo: Fotos International / Contributor (Getty Images), Bettmann / Contributor (Getty Images), Bruce Glikas / Contributor (Getty Images)

We already let y’all know the Black Queens we don’t want to lose, but unfortunately many of our queens have already left us. Here are some of the Black women we miss everyday.

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Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King

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Photo: J. Wilds / Stringer (Getty Images)

Her last name says it all. Coretta Scott King was an author, activist, and wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She was constantly by her husband’s side traveling to his national and international meetings, his speeches, and had her own social justice efforts. She formed several organizations for Black leadership and voting participation, and spearheaded the creation of MLK Day. King passed away in January 2006.

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Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison

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Photo: Jack Mitchell / Contributor (Getty Images)

Toni Morrison’s writings are a staple of American literature, penning novels mainly about Black women’s experiences. She is the author of the widely known The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and Song of Solomon. Several of her works have been added to banned books lists due to her writing about class, racism, and sex being seen as inappropriate for children. She passed away at the age of 88 in 2019.

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Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

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Photo: Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer (Getty Images)

Tony Award-winning poet and actress, Maya Angelou, died at the age of 86 in 2014. Her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), was the first and most popular book in her autobiography series. The series has been banned in some school systems for containing topics of sexual abuse, racism, and sexuality. She was honored with a Pulitzer Prize, 3 Grammys, and a Tony nomination for her texts.

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Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt

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Actress and singer Eartha Kitt is popularly known for being Catwoman in the Batman tv series from 1967-1968. She was a performer from Broadway stages to film sets. Her distinct voice and bold personality were featured in movies and shows over her extensive career, winning her multiple Tonys, Grammys, and Emmys in her lifetime. She passed away from colon cancer in 2008.

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Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson

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Photo: JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / Contributor (Getty Images)

Cicely Tyson was one of the most beloved women in film, television, and theater, playing roles in Black projects and mainstream projects alike. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama in 2016. She passed away peacefully at the age of 96 on January 28, 2021.

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Marva Hicks


Marva Hicks

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Photo: Leland Thompson

Broadway star and gem, Marva Hicks, passed away on September 16, 2022. It’s hard to express this woman’s beauty and talent. Hicks starred in many Broadway shows such as Motown the Musical, The Lion King, and Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. She was also in Star Trek Voyager and L.A. Law. Her powerful voice was featured alongside some of the greats from Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson. Her first album, Marva Hicks, had the hit single “Never Been in Love Before” in 1991. Oh how we miss you beautiful lady.

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Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

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Photo: Paul Natkin / Contributor (Getty Images)

The “Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin, started as a singer in the church and rose to fame with hits like “Respect”, “Chain of Fools”, and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”. She won 18 Grammy awards in her lifetime and was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She passed away on August 16, 2018 due to pancreatic cancer.

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Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll

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Diahann Carroll was a trailblazer for theater and television. She was the first Black woman to win a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She was also the first Black woman casted in a television series role that was not considered stereotypically Black, for the show Julia. She passed away on October 4, 2019 from breast cancer.

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Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

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Photo: L. Busacca / Contributor (Getty Images)

“The Voice”, Whitney Houston, was not only a vocal powerhouse but also an actress and producer. Her version of “I Will Always Love You” is one of the best-selling singles by a female in music history. She is the inspiration for many artists today, with incomparable star power. We tragically lost Whitney on February 11, 2012.

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Florence Ballard

Florence Ballard

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Florence Ballard was one of the original members of The Supremes. She tragically passed away at only 32 years old from a heart attack. ​​She was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Diana Ross and Mary Wilson.

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Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes

Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes

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Rapper, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, was one of the three members of the 90’s girl group, TLC. She tragically passed away at the age of 30 from a car accident.

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Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

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Photo: Bettmann / Contributor (Getty Images)

Billie Holiday used her jazz singing to bring awareness and used art to push the boundaries about racial injustices in the United States with the song “Strange Fruit”. She struggled with substance abuse and it eventually led to her death at the age of 44 on July 17, 1959. She was posthumously inducted into several Hall of fames and nominated for 23 Grammys.

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Aaliyah

Aaliyah

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Photo: Kevin Mazur / Contributor (Getty Images)

Aaliyah was known as the “Princess of R&B”. Although her life was cut short at 22 years old by a plane crash, she made humongous strides in the entertainment industry being not only a singer but also an actress and a brand spokesperson. She was young in the industry and was met with many challenges, bringing awareness to the issues of young women being taken advantage of in the industry, specifically in her relationship with R.Kelly.

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Natalie Desselle-Reid

Natalie Desselle-Reid

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Photo: Jean-Paul Aussenard / Contributor (Getty Images)

Natalie Desselle was known for her roles in mostly Black film and television. One of her most prominent roles was as Mickey in B.A.P.S. alongside Halle Berry. She passed away from colon cancer on December 7, 2020.

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Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson

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Mary Wilson was the founding member of one of the most successful girl groups in history, The Supremes. She died on February 8, 2021 in her sleep.

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Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols

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Photo: Mike Coppola / Staff (Getty Images)

Nichelle Nichols was known for her revolutionary role as Uhura in Star Trek. Her role was important because she was Black woman not taking on a traditional role, her character was helping lead men on space missions. She passed away at the age of 89 on July 30, 2022.

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bell hooks

bell hooks

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bell hooks was an author, activist, and professor. She published over 40 works, writing about race, gender, intersectionality, politics and more. She passed away from kidney failure at 69 years old on December 15, 2021.

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Michelle Thomas

Michelle Thomas

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Michelle Thomas was known for her roles as Myra in Family Matters, Theo’s girlfriend, Justine, in The Cosby Show, and Callie in The Young and the Restless. She had a rare form of cancer and passed way at 30 years old on December 23, 1998.

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Mary Alice

Mary Alice

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Mary Alice was known for her roles as Lettie on A Different World and Effie Williams in Sparkle. She won an Emmy for her role in I’ll Fly Away and a Tony Award for Fences. She was also the Oracle in The Matrix Revolutions. She passed away at age 85 on July 27, 2022.

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Traci Braxton

Traci Braxton

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Photo: Leon Bennett / Contributor (Getty Images)

Traci Braxton was a singer alongside her sisters: Toni, Towanda, Trina, and Tamar. She had her own music career but also sang backup for her sister, Toni Braxton at times. She was also a radio and television personality. She unfortunately died on March 12, 2022 after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

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Betty Davis

Betty Davis

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Betty Davis was a funk singer, model and songwriter. Her lyrics and dance moves were so sexually suggestive that she was not often featured on American radio and television. She was also married for a short time to jazz legend, Miles Davis. She passed away February 9, 2022.

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Lusia Harris

Lusia Harris

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Lusia Harris was the only woman to be drafted into the NBA. Although she did not end up playing, she was a valuable player in women’s basketball, playing on the US National team. There was a documentary made about her life called The Queen of Basketball and it won a 2022 Academy Award. She died on January 18, 2022.

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Denise Dowse

Denise Dowse

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Photo: Greg Doherty / Contributor (Getty Images)

Denise Dowse was an actress known for her roles in the television series Beverly Hills, 90210 as Yvonne Teasley and Dr. Rhonda Pine in Insecure. She died from meningitis on August 13, 2022 at 64 years old.

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Donna Summer

Donna Summer

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The “Queen of Disco”, Donna Summer, died on May 17, 2012 from lung cancer. During her career she crossed over to several genres, leading to award nominations for R&B, pop, dance, gospel, and rock music.

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Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler

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Octavia Butler was the first sci-fi author to get a MacArthur Fellowship. She is the author of the popular novel, Kindred. Many of her world include topics from women’s rights, Afrofuturism, science, and more. She tragically died after a stroke followed by a deadly fall on February 24, 2006.

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Lena Horne

Lena Horne

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Photo: Bettmann / Contributor (Getty Images)

Lena Horne was an actress, singer, dancer, and civil rights activist. She was the first Black woman nominated for the Tony Award for the Best Actress in a Musical in 1958. She passed away on May 9, 2010

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