Today an iconic figure and household name, legendary in not only black households but whites as well died, via suicide. Mr. Don Cornelius is known for creating Soul Train in the early 1970s, which served as a platform for African-Americans, who were rejected from white dancing shows, to express themselves and take America by storm.
Don Cornelius was 75-years-old and found in his home in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles around 4 am. The fact that he shot himself in the head shocks a lot of people because no one can figure out exactly why he would do such a thing. However, the true saying “you never know what someone is going through,” rings true in everyday life.
This man is a legendary icon, he opened many doors for people of color, he helped to create a haven for people of color to express themselves and be accepted and welcomed despite the harsh realities of the outside world; he reached and influenced millions of people, both famous and nonfamous, and he had great crossover appeal without having to compromise his person or his original fan base. This is a man who created a show that inspired millions of people not just in America but around the world. I’m sure he has beyond an impressive resume with many credentials, yet it doesn’t erase the fact that something was not right.
I have seen clips of Don Cornelius hosting Soul Train back in the day and he was always all smiles, with a deep voice, neat and fitted suits and a beautiful afro to boot. You cannot talk about the 1970s and the generations that followed afterward without mentioning Soul Train, his name, and his contribution to his people, music, and his country.
May he rest in peace and know that he will forever be remembered for going above and beyond and igniting change in America; love, peace, and soul to you, Don Cornelius, an iconic figure.