Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida has died after a years long battle with cancer according to his chief of staff Lale M. Morrison who confirmed the news with CNN on Tuesday. He was 84 years old.
News of Hastings’ death was first reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Hastings lived a life of controversy and redemption, appointed as the state’s first Black federal judge by former President Jimmy Carter in 1979. 10 years later Hastings was removed from the bench by the Senate after he was impeached on corruption charges, even though he was acquitted through a criminal trial.
Hastings appeared again in the political sphere in 1992, becoming Florida’s first Black congressman since after the Civil War. Hastings went on to be reelected 14 times.
In Congress however, he faced more accusations of misconduct when he was accused of sexual harassment and nepotism.
Hastings was one of Florida’s most senior, longest serving member in Congress, representing majority Black communities outside of Miami for almost three decades. As a lawmaker, Hastings was known for speaking what was on his mind. He was hailed as a progressive who pushed for affordable day care, universal heath care, family and medical leave, and advocated against the use of assault weapons.
In Congress he served as Vice Chairman of the House Rules Committee and was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Hastings scaled down his appearances after discovering he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in 2018.
He began his career as a civil rights lawyer in the south, defending Black people who were denied food service based on the color of their skin, and lead the charge to desegregate schools.
Hastings attended Fisk University, a historically Black college for undergrad and continued his education at “The Mecca,” Howard University. He eventually finished law school at another HBCU in his home state, Florida A&M, in 1963.
Due to Hastings’ death, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will determine when a special election will be held to fill his seat. The vacancy means House Democrats maintain a slim majority margin over the GOP, with 218-211.
“While we mourn the loss of our brother, his life and legacy will continue to be a part of our power and our message and will serve as a motivation for those who will follow in his footsteps – as leaders, fighters and advocates who represent the best of what our nation has to offer,” CBC Chairwoman Joyce Beatty said in a statement sent to NewsOne.
“Although there are no words to ease the sadness we are now feeling, there is solace in the remembrance of having been touched by such a giant. May his memory serve as a comfort to his loved ones and those who join us in mourning his passing. Rest well our dear brother…we’ll take it from here.”
Other prominent Black lawmakers who served with Hastings shared their grief on social media. Sending our condolences to Hastings’ family and loved ones at this difficult time.
Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks Who We've Lost In 2021
1. Rachael Oniga, Nollywood actress, 64
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Nigeria has lost an absolute veteran & iconic actress - RIP Rachel Oniga 💔💔🥺 pic.twitter.com/zD3VhRQpyK— ✨👑 DaddyMO👑✨🥇 (@therealdaddymo1) July 31, 2021
2. Glen Ford, veteran journalist and Black Agenda Report founder, 71Source:LinkedIn 2 of 65
3. Gloria Richardson, civil rights pioneer, 99Source:Getty 3 of 65
4. Biz Markie, hip-hop legend, 57Source:Getty 4 of 65
5. Charlie Robinson, actor, 75Source:Getty 5 of 65
6. Matima "Swavy" Miller, social media star, 19Source:GoFundMe 6 of 65
7. Suzzanne Douglas, actress, 64Source:Getty 7 of 65
8. Abdalelah Haroun, track and field star, 24Source:Getty 8 of 65
9. Consuewella Dotson Africa, MOVE leader, 67
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Heartbroken to learn that Consuewella Africa passed away today. She was arrested on Aug 8, 1978 w/ the MOVE 9 + spent 16 yrs in prison. May 13th, 1985, her daughters Netta and Tree were murdered. 2 mos ago, we learned Penn Museum held hostage Tree's remains. And now she is gone pic.twitter.com/nZSW7Yu2yE— Krystal Strong (@misskstrong) June 16, 2021
10. Martha White, civil rights activist, 99Source:Twitter 10 of 65
11. Sanyika Shakur ("Monster" Kody Scott), street gang leader-turned-motivational speaker, 5711 of 65
12. Clarence Williams III, actor, 81Source:Getty 12 of 65
13. Samuel Wright, actor, 74Source:Getty 13 of 65
14. Chi Modu, photographer, 54Source:Getty 14 of 65
15. Paul Mooney, comedian, writer, 79Source:Getty 15 of 65
16. Lee Evans, Olympic champion, 74Source:Getty 16 of 65
17. Frank McRae, actor and former NFL player, 80Source:Getty 17 of 65
18. Eugene Webb, NYC real estate broker, 102Source:Getty 18 of 65
19. Pervis Staples, singer, 85Source:Getty 19 of 65
20. Curtis Fuller, legendary jazz trombonist, 88Source:Getty 20 of 65
21. Henrietta Turnquest, pioneering Black woman politician, 73
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MARTA is saddened by the passing of Henrietta Turnquest, who was appointed to the MARTA Board in 2003, the first African American woman to be appointed and serve on the MARTA Board of Directors. https://t.co/nTGaNeRfIk pic.twitter.com/CFdMRiFT9h— MARTA (@MARTAservice) May 4, 2021
22. Shock G, rapper-producer, 57Source:Getty 22 of 65
23. Antron Pippen, 33
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24. Black Rob, rapper, 51Source:Getty 24 of 65
25. Gerren Taylor, model, 30Source:WENN 25 of 65
26. DMX, rapper, actor, 50Source:Getty 26 of 65
27. Midwin Charles, attorney, 47Source:Getty 27 of 65
28. Alcee Hastings, congressman, 84Source:Getty 28 of 65
29. Alvin Sykes, civil rights activist, 64Source:Kansas City Public Library 29 of 65
30. Sarah Obama, paternal step-grandmother of Barack Obama, 99Source:Getty 30 of 65
31. Craig "muMs" Grant, poet-actorSource:Getty 31 of 65
32. Elgin Baylor, NBA legend, 86Source:Getty 32 of 65
33. Yaphet Kotto, actor, 8133 of 65
34. Reggie Warren, singer, 52Source:Getty 34 of 65
35. Jo Thompson, muscian-singer, 92
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Jo Thompson broke racial barriers during the decades she played the piano and sang to audiences from Detroit’s top supper clubs to ones in Cuba, New York, London and Paris during the 1950s. https://t.co/9GGN8Njdx4— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) March 11, 2021
36. Paul H. Brock, journalist, 89
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Today we are mourning the passing of @NABJ Founding Executive Director Paul H. Brock. “Founder Brock played such an integral role in the success of NABJ,” said @Dorothy4NABJ. Read more about Founder Brock and his legacy by clicking here: https://t.co/NFYmKLa9nc pic.twitter.com/BxluBXKPGy— NABJ Headquarters @ #NABJ21 Aug. 18-21 (@NABJ) March 14, 2021
37. "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, boxing legend, 66Source:Getty 37 of 65
38. Robert Ashby, military hero, 95Source:Getty 38 of 65
39. Obe Noir, rapper-activist, 31Source:Instagram 39 of 65
40. Marshall Latimore, journalist, 36Source:The Atlanta Voice 40 of 65
41. Lawrence Otis Graham, author, 59Source:Getty 41 of 65
42. Jahmil French, actor, 28Source:Getty 42 of 65
43. Bunny Wailer, reggae icon, 73Source:Getty 43 of 65
44. Irv Cross, legendary broadcaster, 81Source:Getty 44 of 65
45. Shelia Washington, founder, Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, 61Source:William H. Hampton 45 of 65
46. Antoine Hodge, opera singer, 38Source:GoFundMe 46 of 65
47. Douglas Turner Ward, actor, Negro Ensemble Company co-founder, 90Source:WENN 47 of 65
48. Prince Markie Dee, rapper, 52Source:Getty 48 of 65
49. Vincent Jackson, former NFL star, 38Source:Getty 49 of 65
50. Danny Ray, MC who put cape on James Brown, 85Source:Getty 50 of 65
51. Frederick K.C. Price, evangelist, 89
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"They know if we ever let these Black people get equality that they will take over they will be on top of everything" - Frederick K. C. Price pic.twitter.com/NYI11QgTEz— The Black Detour (@theblackdetour) February 12, 2021
52. Terez Paylor, sports journalist, 37Source:facebook 52 of 65
53. Mary Wilson, co-founder of The Supremes, 76Source:Getty 53 of 65
54. Karen Lewis, former Chicago Teachers Union president, 67Source:Getty 54 of 65
55. Leon Spinks, former heavyweight champion, 67Source:Getty 55 of 65
56. Dianne Durham, gymnast, 52Source:Getty 56 of 65
57. John Chaney, college basketball coaching legend, 89Source:Getty 57 of 65
58. Cicely Tyson, actresss, 96Source:Getty 58 of 65
59. Hank Aaron, MLB icon, 86Source:Getty 59 of 65
60. Duranice Pace, gospel singer, 62Source:Getty 60 of 65
61. Tim Lester, NFL star, 52Source:Getty 61 of 65
62. Bryan Monroe, former NABJ president, 55Source:Getty 62 of 65
63. Meredith C. Anding Jr., civil rights icon, 79
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We are saddened to hear of the passing of Meredith Anding Jr., one of the Tougaloo College students who attempted to integrate the Jackson Municipal Library in 1961. Thank you for taking a stand for Freedom! Our thoughts and prayers are with the Anding family. pic.twitter.com/HC1tURbUd2— Medgar&MyrlieEversInstitute (@MMEI63) January 12, 2021
64. Eric Jerome Dickey, best-selling author, 59Source:Getty 64 of 65
65. Floyd Little, football legend, 78Source:Getty 65 of 65
Longtime Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings Dies At 84 was originally published on newsone.com