2018 is not halfway over, yet the world has lost some wonderful Black women. This post is dedicated to 3 Black women that have passed away in 2018: DuShon Monique Brown, Olivia Cole, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Last month, Ms. DuShon Monique Brown passed away at the young age of 49. An accomplished actress, Ms. Brown was best known for her television roles. She played Connie on NBC's hit show Chicago Fire, and Katie Welch on season one of Fox's hit show Prison Break, with guest appearances in season two. She also had guest appearances on other popular shows, including Shameless and Empire. Ms. Brown was also an accomplished theatre actress, having performed in a variety of plays and musicals, including Our Town, Once on this Island, and Little Shop of Horrors. A Chicago native, Ms. Brown worked at two high schools: South Shore International College Preparatory High School (as a guidence counselor), and Kenwood Academy High School (as a crisis counselor and a drama instructor).
An accomplished actress on theater and stage, Olivia Cole is a history-making actress who passed away January 2018 at the age of 75. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Ms. Cole's prestigious post-secondary education includes Hunter College High School in Manhattan, Bard College in New York, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and the University of Minnesota, where she earned a masters degree in theater arts and a minor in Scandinavian studies. Throughout her career, Ms. Cole went on to star on Broadway productions, including The Merchant of Venice and The School for Scandal. Her film and television credits include The Women of Brewster Place, Guiding Light, Murder She Wrote, L. A. Law, and Roots. For her role as Mathilda Moore in Roots, she won an Emmy, becoming the first Black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress.
On April 2nd, 2018, Nomzamo Nobandla Winnifred Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the age of 81. She was affectionately known as the Mother of the Nation, but much of her life was filled with controversy. Living mainly during South Africa's period of Apartheid, Mrs. was repeatedly detained, jailed, banished, and spent most of her marriage physically separated from Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years. Mrs. Winnie Mandela became interested in politics while serving as the first Black medical social worker for the Baragwanath Hospital, where she became exposed to a myriad of families living in abject poverty. Soon after, she married Nelson Mandela (1958) and was also detained for her role in a political campaign. As the grips of Apartheid tightened, Mrs. Winnie Mandela was repeatedly jailed, attacked, tortured, framed, and more, enduring a host of attrocities while fighting for civil rights and equality. The attacks and lies on her and her character never ceased, even after Apartheid ended. However, Mrs. Winnie Mandela always remained a woman of the people, and continued to fight for the dignity of Black South Africans.
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