His transcendent impact on Black culture and the world at large throughout the 1970s and 1980s was immeasurable. To call him simply a luminary does a great disservice to his contributions. He was a trendsetter, icon, and a barrier breaker.
The death of Don Cornelius was major news. I wonder if Cornelius, himself, realized his place on the American scene. His impact was powerful with multiple dimensions. Without a doubt he took Black music mainstream.
The recent death of Don Cornelius, founder and host of the long-running syndicated series Soul Train, brought back into the focus the role of black independent media. Soul Train remains a metaphor for the freedoms and possibilities in the early years of the post-Civil Rights era.
Last Labor Day, Chicago had a celebration remembering the days of Soul Train. Salute was paid to Don Cornelius, the creator of Soul Train. Don died today and instantly I remembered the party in the middle of the city that paid tribute to him.
Like the rest of America, I was distraught over the death of the great Don Cornelius, creator of the legendary show, Soul Train. There will never be another one like him, for he truly changed the black entertainment landscape for all eternity.
As I write these words, I hear helicopters overhead covering the death of Don Cornelius in my neighborhood, but I prefer to remember that being able to board "Soul Train" changed my life -- and countless others -- for the better.