Under The Duvet Productions

Covering News And Entertainment.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH February 2015: Special Edition by Under The Duvet Productions; In Memoriam, 2014 by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino

 In Memoriam 2014 

Each year we look back to remember those we lost; every year is difficult, but 2014 seemed to be more painful.

As a celebrity photojournalist I sometimes have a personal connection to those I photograph; some a personal friendship, others simply great admiration. The loss of Dr. Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Pete Seeger, and Geoffrey Holder were particularly difficult for me this past year. I remember our specific conversations filled with their words of wisdom, and their priceless advice. I remember the way they made me feel. I remember a sunny day at the Café Caryle in New York with Maya Angelou; her rich glorious voice echoed as she asked me questions about my life. I remember walking arm and arm with Geoffrey Holder on West Broadway in SoHo, New York; in the mist of our conversation I had doubt, he abruptly stopped walking, grabbed my arm tightly, and in his deep voice roared, “don’t say if, say when”; and we quietly continued to walk. It was so powerful it shook me to the core. I remember Ruby Dee; I loved to hear her delightful lustrous voice, and all her hesitations between her words. She had the same political views as I; we both felt Democratic Socialism was society’s only hope. I showed her how to use my iPhone, and I loved the look on her face as she discovered how it worked. I remember Pete Seeger; a Socialist too, he would say “we must always speak up.” They were not only talented, they made sacrifices; they fought for what was right, not for their self interest. They were lifelong role models for me. They taught me; and I learned. They are a part of me; and a part of who I became. They showed all of us how good we can be. And how much better we can become. I am grateful; and to quote Dr. Angelou, “Thank you, always say thank you; it’s the greatest gift you can give someone; because thank you is what you say to God.”

IMG_2487 DUVET Maya (1)

In Memoriam: Dr. Maya Angelou, Black Stars of the Great White Way, Carnegie Hall, New York, June 23, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

IMG_2487 DUVET Ruby & Ossie

In Memoriam: Ruby Dee (and Ossie Davis), Black Stars of the Great White Way, Carnegie Hall, New York, June 23, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

On September 12, 2014 I attended and photographed Dr. Maya Angelou’s Memorial. A week later, on September 20, 2014 I attended and photographed Ruby Dee’s Memorial. Both Memorials were held at the Riverside Church, New York. On July 20, 2014 I attended and photographed “The Seeger Fest: Lincoln Center Out of Doors”, New York. It was tribute concert for Pete Seeger and his wife Toshi, who passed away about six months before him on July 9, 2013.

Dr. Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928, St. Louis Missouri – May 28, 2014): An author, poet, actress, dancer, singer, Grammy Award winner, Tony Award nominee, Multi-Award winner, received the National Medal of Arts and Humanities in 2000, and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010.

Ruby Dee (born Ruby Ann Wallace; October 27, 1922 – June 11, 2014): Civil rights activist, actress, writer, poet, journalist, Academy Award nominee, Emmy Award winner, Grammy Award winner, and Multi-Award winner.

Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014): Civil rights activist, singer, and songwriter.

 Geoffrey Holder (August 1, 1930 – October 5, 2014): Actor, choreographer, director, dancer, painter, costume designer, singer, voice-over artist, and Renaissance man.

 Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoi Jones; October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014): Author and poet.

 Juanita Hall (November 6, 1901 – February 28, 1968): Musical theatre and film actress.

Leslie Lee ( November 6, 1935 – January 20, 2014): Tony Award nominated playwright, Outer Critics Circle Award & Obie Award winner, and author.

Jimmy Ruffin (May 7, 1936 – November 17, 2014): Singer, and elder brother of David Ruffin of the Temptations.

 Bobby Womack (March 4, 1944 – June 27, 2014): Singer, songwriter and musician.

 James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner; April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014): Civil rights activist, actor, voice-over artist, and comedian.

Joe Sample (February 1, 1939 – September 12, 2014): Pianist, keyboard player, and composer.

Frankie Knuckles (January 18, 1955 – March 31, 2014): DJ and Record Producer

 Henry ‘Big Bank Hank’ Jackson (January 11, 1956 – November 11, 2014): One of the founders of the Sugarhill Gang, one of Hip Hop’s first rap groups.

 Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (May 6, 1937 – April 20, 2014): Boxer.

 Gerald Stanley Wilson (September 4, 1918 – September 8, 2014): Jazz trumpeter, big band bandleader, composer, arranger, and educator.

 Meshach Taylor (April 11, 1947 – June 28, 2014): Emmy Award nominated actor.

 Lee Chamberlin (born Alverta La Pallo; February 14, 1938 – May 25, 2014): Actress.

Marion Berry, Jr. (March 6, 1936 – November 23, 2014): Civil rights activist, politician, and Mayor of the District of Columbia.

 Alice Marie Coachman (November 9, 1923 – July 14, 2014): Athlete; specialized in high jump and was the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

In Memoriam outside of the Black community: Oscar de la Renta, Gabriel García Márquez, Joe Cocker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, Mike Nichols, Lauren Bacall, Joan Rivers, Bob Hoskins, Mickey Rooney, Sid Caesar, Shirley Temple, Casey Kasem, Eli Wallach, Elaine Stritch, Joan Mondale, Tommy Ramone, Johnny Winter, Phil  Everly, Polly Bergen, Marian Seldes, David Brenner, Mary Ann Mobley, Eileen Ford, Charlie Haden, Horace Silver, Jerry Vale, and many more.

Photographs and Article by Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino of Under The Duvet Productions, NY. All Rights Reserved.

Please note the In Memoriam names in this article are in no particular order; and not everyone is mentioned.





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