Advocate for the early release of elderly prisoners dies

  When Bill Cosby, the 81-year-old comedian, was sentenced to prison in September after a jury convicted him of three counts of sexual assault, he joined a growing number of inmates housed in state and federal prisons across the country who are elderly and infirm and who are very expensive to house and care for because of their health challenges[Read More…]


Phillip Jackson, former chief of staff for the Chicago Public Schools and founder of the Black Star Project, has died

By Frederick H. Lowe BlackmansStreet.Today Phillip Jackson, chief of staff for the Chicago Public Schools under Paul Vallas and Gery Chico and chairman and founder of the Black Star Project, died Sunday after a long bout with cancer.  He died while in care at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. Mr. Jackson, who was 68, also suffered from vitiligo,[Read More…]

Recent deaths

Congressman Ron Dellums Congressman Ron Dellums, who along with 13 others, established the Congressional Black Caucus more than 45 years ago, has died. Dellums, a native of Oakland, California, served in Congress 27 years. Dellums died Monday at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 82 and he died of cancer. An anti-war activist, Dellums was elected mayor of Oakland[Read More…]

Winnie Mandela has died

By Frederick H. Lowe Winifred Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, died Monday, Al Jazeera and several other news outlets are reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa,  near where she lived. Winifred Mandela was 81 years old. “She died after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of the hospital since the start of the year,” Victor Diamini,[Read More…]

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…]