The death of Soul Train founder Don Cornelius has shocked many but left many more confused as to why the celebrated Chicagoan would take his own life. Social networking sites have been buzzing about Cornelius; the general public has been extremely critical and judgmental.
As if he was not the pioneer of the black music movement during and beyond the 1970’s, many former Soul Train fans are now shaking their heads at 75-year-old Cornelius who was found dead in his California home Wednesday as a result of a self-inflicted gun wound. But who are we to judge?
Cornelius struggled with heath issues since the 1980’s after undergoing brain surgery. He was quoted saying after the brain surgery he simply was not the same making daily tasks more difficult than usual. As the years continued to progress Cornelius did not seem to always be in his right frame of mind.
The public, the media and all other critics should be more concerned with why Cornelius had not been under close supervision. He divorced his second wife in 2009 after pleading guilty to spousal abuse.
In September 2011 Cornelius was in Chicago celebrating the 40th anniversary of Soul Train with a celebration in Millennium Park. Hundreds were in attendance as Cornelius took the microphone and spoke with the crowd.
Cornelius provided Chicago with a foundation for entertainment success, something that is not common today. He opened America’s eyes about black music and exposed many viewers to the black experience. He deserves nothing less than praise and applause.