In Memoriam 2017

NorthStar looks back and honors these extraordinary people we lost in 2017…. By Susan M. Miller 19 November Della Reese (b. July 6, 1931; Detroit, Michigan), 86, singer, actress and minister, began singing in church, was discovered at thirteen by gospel great Mahalia Jackson and sang with her group. From there, her bright and varied career led her to a[Read More…]

Charles Manson, who hoped to spark a war between blacks and whites after two horrible murders, is dead

By Frederick H. Lowe Charles Manson, who orchestrated the murders of eight people, including an unborn child, in the hope of inciting a race war between blacks and whites, has died of natural causes unlike his cult’s victims. The 83-year-old Manson died November 19 in a Kern County hospital in Corcoran, California. Manson initially was sentenced to death in 1971[Read More…]

Barbara Gonzaque Boutte

  Barbara Gonzaque Boutte, widow of the Alvin J. Boutte, CEO of Indecorp, Inc., the holding company for Independence Bank of Chicago, has died. Mr. Boutte also was president of Independence Bank, once the nation’s largest black-owned bank. Mrs. Boutte died July 17 in her Markham, Ill., home from multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. She was 86. Known[Read More…]

Robert Abbott Sengstacke

A member of the family that founded and once owned the Chicago Defender   By Frederick H. Lowe Robert Abbott Sengstacke, son of John Herman Henry Sengstacke, owner and publisher of the Chicago Defender, died Tuesday following a long illness. He was 73. Robert, who was called Bobby by friends, worked as a photographer for the Chicago Defender, and Muhammad[Read More…]


  Dr. Frances Cress Welsing Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, a psychiatrist who authored “The Isis Papers,” died January 2 in Washington, D.C. after suffering stroke. Dr. Welsing was 80. A Chicago native, Welsing, the daughter of a physician and a school teacher, graduated from Howard University Medical School. Welsing caused a stir after she said that homosexuality among African-Americans was[Read More…]


  Alex Poinsett, former Ebony senior editor and author, dies Alex Poinsett, one of the co-founders of the National Association of Black Journalists, an award-winning author and a retired senior editor at Ebony magazine, has died. Mr. Poinsett was 89, but it is not known where or when he died. His last known address was in Chicago. Mr. Poinsett’s daughter,[Read More…]

Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, Jr.

  Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, Jr., the first African-American Marine Corps general and the first black Marine pilot, was honored by the Congressional Black Caucus, following his death in late August. “While we mourn the loss of the United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, Jr., we also celebrate his over three decades of honorable, inspired and[Read More…]


  Max Beauvoir Max Beauvoir, supreme chief of Voodoo, an amalgam of West African traditions and Catholicism, died Saturday of unknown causes in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. He was 79. Mr. Beauvoir, a biochemist, studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and Cornell University. He returned to Haiti in the 1970s. Back home, he had a life-changing experience at the deathbed of his[Read More…]

Julian Bond

  Julian Bond, who was nominated for vice president of the United States at the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where thousands of anti-Vietnam war demonstrators wearing football helmets battled police in the streets, died August 15 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He was 75. Bond was seated in the Georgia State Legislature after a long and bitter[Read More…]

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