Written By NEWSONE.COM Staff
While death is inevitably a part of life, that truth doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to those who have died. This running file commemorating some of the notable Black folks who have died in 2020 is meant to pay homage to their contributions in life that will live on well after their deaths.
Memphis civil rights activist, city councilmember and businessman Fred L. Davis, who marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a historic labor strike, died on Tuesday following an illness. Davis made history when he was elected the Memphis City Council in 1967, joining two other newly elected Black people as the city’s first African American council members. The next year, when the city’s sanitation workers protested their working conditions and low pay, Davis and King were among those marching in the workers’ support. Davis also opened one of the first Black-owned insurance companies in the south. In addition, he and his wife worked to desegregate the city’s schools.
We mourn the passing of former Councilman Fred L. Davis. His legacy is marked by his contributions to Memphis civil rights movements as he remains to be a pillar of justice for our community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/M5TwP7r3vh— mem_council (@MEM_Council) May 12, 2020
Davis’ death followed a brutal spate of devastating losses from the music world.
Betty Wright, the award-winning R&B soul singer whose signature song went on to become a sampling standard in hip-hop music, died Sunday morning. She was 66 years old. Wright, whose cause of death was not immediately reported, had a career that spanned decades and evolved from its gospel roots to rhythm and blues to pop, the latter of which won her a pair of Grammy Awards.
As Bossip noted, Wright’s hit song from 1971, “Clean Up Woman,” has been sampled in music by contemporary artists ranging from Mary J Blige to Beyonce and still stands the test of time as a classic song in its own right.