Lost Voices of 2005: A Tribute to Black America

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Actress Ren Woods commemorates some notable black figures who passed away in 2005.

TONY COX, host:

And Ren joins me now at our NPR studios in Culver City, California, to bring our last show of the year to a close. We end, I'm afraid, on a somber note. In 2005, we said goodbye to a distinguished list of black Americans. We'd like to take this time to read the names of some of those who passed. We begin in the field of performing arts.

Ms. REN WOODS (Actress): Richard Pryor.

COX: Nipsey Russell.

Ms. WOODS: Ossie Davis.

COX: Luther Vandross.

Ms. WOODS: Brock Peters.

COX: Tyrone Davis.

Ms. WOODS: Ronald Winans.

COX: Oscar Brown Jr.

Ms. WOODS: Jimmy Smith.

COX: R.L. Burnside.

Ms. WOODS: Shirley Horn.

COX: Little Milton.

Ms. WOODS: George Georgia Woods(ph).

COX: Bobby Short.

Ms. WOODS: Johnny Johnson.

COX: Al Casey.

Ms. WOODS: Renaldo "Obie" Benson.

COX: Eugene Rucker.

Ms. WOODS: Helen L. Phillips.

COX: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.

Ms. WOODS: Percy Heath.

COX: Keter Betts.

Ms. WOODS: Ibrahim Ferrer.

COX: S. Renee Diggs.

Ms. WOODS: Lamont Bentley.

COX: Edward Patten.

And in the field of sports...

Ms. WOODS: Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe.

COX: And Reggie Roby.

In the field of public service, social justice and law...

Ms. WOODS: Rosa Parks.

COX: C. Delores Tucker.

Ms. WOODS: Johnnie Cochran.

COX: Shirley Chisholm.

Ms. WOODS: Kenneth Clark.

COX: Constance Baker Motley.

Ms. WOODS: Arthur Fletcher.

COX: In the field of media and literary arts...

Ms. WOODS: John H. Johnson.

COX: Maddie Vell Woods(ph).

Ms. WOODS: August Wilson.

COX: And the first African-American graduate of the University of Alabama, Vivian Malone Jones.

Ms. WOODS: And Sergeant Mark Matthews, the last surviving Buffalo Soldier.

COX: And finally, we pay tribute to the victims, many still unknown, of Hurricane Katrina, and to the hundreds of soldiers killed in the towns and deserts of Iraq.

Ren Woods, thank you for joining us.

Ms. WOODS: Thank you, Tony.

COX: And Ren now has this song in tribute.

(Soundbite of "Amazing Grace")

Ms. WOODS: (Singing) Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Oooh...


COX: To listen to the show, visit NEWS & NOTES was created by NPR News and the African-American Public Radio Consortium.

I'm Tony Cox. Have a great New Year.

(Soundbite of "Amazing Grace")

Ms. WOODS: (Singing) Oooh.

COX: This is NEWS & NOTES.

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