A Tribute to Those We Have Lost


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Fans mourn at Crowds Gather Outside Staples Center For Kobe Bryant Memorial at Staples Center on January 27, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Bailey Bryan, Staff Writer

2020 has been one of the hardest years in recent memory, as the United States lost many prominent figures; Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, and John Lewis are among many important icons in America who have passed in recent months. The year started with great sadness as on January 26th, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and others passed in a tragic helicopter accident. Kobe Bryant was a prolific basketball player who won five NBA championships, two Finals MVP awards, and one NBA MVP award. However, Bryant’s impact extended past the basketball court. Bryant won an Oscar for best short animated film in Dear Basketball and due to his involvement in the community, Bryant impacted many kids around the world and was an excellent example of how to be a good dad. 

Chadwick Boseman was no stranger to making an impact on the big screen. Boseman is most famous for his role as Blank Panther in the Marvel Universe as well as playing Jackie Robinson in 42. Two years after the release of Black Panther on August 28th, Chadwick Boseman passed after his multi-year battle with colon cancer. Four years ago Chadwick was diagnosed with Cancer and despite it all, he fought to make excellent movies for kids and adults alike. After Boseman’s death, political leader Joe Biden tweeted “he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes.” As a nation, we are deeply affected by the loss of both Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman. 

 In a post-game interview on August 30th, Lebron James said, “It actually felt like we had our black superhero and nobody could touch us. To lose that, it’s sad in our community. To lose Black Panther & Black Mamba in the same year — 2020 is the sh**tiest year.”. James had a close connection with Bryant as they played in the league together for many years.

Unfortunately, Bryant and Boseman are not the only important leaders that have been lost in the year 2020. Civil Rights activist John Lewis passed in July after a battle with pancreatic cancer at age 80. Lewis marched with Martin Luther King Jr. for racial justice in the ’60s during the Civil Rights Movement. On August 28th, 1963 in front of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, Lewis had a speech of his own where he urged America to wake up. After the death of George Floyd, John Lewis marched again, urging America to once more rise up against racial injustice.

Despite all the sadness that has been caused due to the passing of the prolific figures mentioned, there is good being done to honor their lives. Murals have been painted all over the world to pay respects to Kobe. Foundations have built basketball courts or refurbished courts in underfunded neighborhoods to give all kids the chance to play basketball like their favorite player. In light of Boseman’s death, many actors or co-stars have written tributes to the actor and have bonded together to raise awareness for cancer.

The most important tribute is to John Lewis. Each day that people protest against racial injustice, they are honoring Lewis. John Lewis spent his entire life fighting for equality in the South and through all of America. He urged Americans to march through the streets of Jackson and Atlanta to stand up against injustice. Each protest that is held, each sign raised to injustice, and most importantly each word spoken against racism is an honor to John Lewis.