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Josephine Wright

Josephine Wright. | Source: GoFundMe/Charise Graves

While death is an inevitable part of life, that fact doesn’t make it any easier when the news of death is reported.

Josephine Wright, an elderly Black woman who famously sued a real estate developer she accused of attempting to harass her into selling her property in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina—a property she says has been in her family since just after the Civil War—died on Jan. 7. She was 94.

Wright’s story gained national attention after wealthy celebrities including media mogul Tyler Perry rallied behind her and funded her efforts to secure her family’s property.

Wright, who died with at least 40 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren and 16 great-great-grandchildren, had said the lawsuit was motivated by wanting to enjoy her family’s land.

“It’s a classic story,” civil rights attorney Bakari Sellers, who represented Wright, told reporters last year. “You have a 93-year-old young lady who has been working her entire life to provide for her family her entire life. And you have this great big large development company. And look, nobody up here is against development per se. Nobody up here is anti-business. I mean, we just want to keep what’s ours and we want to be able to pass that down.”

Wright, who comes from a family of enslaved people who escaped and were freed by Union soldiers, had been previously sued by the developer because she refused to sell the company her land so it could build a 29-acre, 147-unit housing development. But court documents indicate that she was sued because she stalled progress on the development by leaving her personal property on property owned by the developer. One of Wright’s grandchildren said they paid to remove the personal items but that didn’t end the harassment.

Wright’s funeral was held this past weekend in Hilton Head Island, according to WTOC.

“The legacy of being self-sufficient, the legacy of being stylish, the legacy of being a mighty woman of God, the legacy of standing up and fighting for her family and fighting for our land,” Wright’s granddaughter, Tracey Graves, said during the funeral. “She started this fight knowing that she may not see it through, but she had to do it.”

May her legacy in the world of Black beauty care and fashion in general live on forever.

MORE: Rest In Power: Notable Black People Who Died In 2023

Keep reading below to learn more about the other notable Black people who have died this year, in no particular order.

The post Rest In Power: Notable Black People Who Have Died This Year appeared first on NewsOne.

Rest In Power: Notable Black People Who Have Died This Year  was originally published on

1. Reggie Wells, celebrity stylist

Reggie Wells, Emmy-winning stylist to the likes of Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Halle Berry and most notably Oprah Winfrey on a personal level for more than 30 years, died on Jan. 8. He was 76 years old.

2. Jerry Wade, radio DJ

Jerry Wade, radio DJ Source:n/a

Indianapolis disc jockey Jerry Wade, host of WTLC’s The Quiet Storm with The Loverman Jerry Wade for over 40 years, died at the age of 61. his death was confirmed by his family on Jan. 8. 

via WTLC:

“While on the air, Jerry was ‘Mr. Loverman,’ a charismatic, deep-voiced, radio disc jockey, gracing the airwaves Sunday through Thursday with the ‘sexiest show in the city.’ But off-air, Jerry made everyone else feel like they were the superstar. ‘The Loverman’ was the personality, but if there he had an alter-ego it was just ‘Jerry.’ An ego-less man who loved Indianapolis and wanted to see people smile. What most listeners didn’t know, was Jerry’s giving heart. Jerry was also the Executive Director of ‘Quality of Life,’ an Adult Day Center on the east side of Indianapolis. If that wasn’t enough Jerry was also an entrepreneur, as the owner of several salons known as ‘Hot Cuts’ and of course ‘Jerry Wade Live’ his mobile DJ service. And a real life ‘Hitch’ as through his date coach services he connected and reconnected countless relationships.”