Former Miss USA Chesli Kryst died by suicide in January 2022.

2022 was a doozy with a host of stories impacting Black communities throughout the Diaspora. From the arrest and conviction of Basketball Superstar Britney Griner in Russia to the untimely deaths of comedian/showrunner David A. Arnold, South African actress Busi Luyrayi, pop cultural icon Irene Cara and murder of rap superstar Takeoff, 2022 kept us on our toes. Outside allegedly opened back up and it seemed things were returning somewhat to normal but the unexpected jolts that make up this thing called life kept coming.

In January, we were rocked by the high-profile death by suicide of former Miss USA Chesli Kryst and the December death by suicide of DJ tWitch. The national political spotlight turned to Georgia politics which followed the Gubernatorial run of Stacey Abrams and Senatorial race and run-off of college football legend Herschel Walker and U.S. Senator and senior pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. Raphael Warnock. The year of our Lord 2002 gave us the conviction and sentencing of Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers, R&B legend/sex trafficker R. Kelly, and soon-to-be sentenced Canadian rapper Torey Lanez for shooting rap superstar Megan The Stallion and being naive enough to admit it on the prison phone line. Check out The Burton Wire’s top stories of 2022 that received the most traffic on the site or on social media platforms below:


Travis McMichael, 36, and Greg McMichael, 66, were convicted of murder after fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery after they chased him through a Georgia neighborhood while he was jogging February 3, 2020. They were sentenced to life in prison without parole in the state of Georgia. Their friend William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, who videotaped the murder, was sentenced to 35 years in prison. The McMichael’s were also convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for committing a federal hate crime in August 2022. The pair received their sentences from US district court judge Lisa Godbey Wood in the port city of Brunswick.

Greg McMichael, 66, Travis McMichael, 36 and William “Roddie” Bryan, were sentenced to life in prison again for the murder of jogger Ahmaud Arbery. (Photo: Google Images)

The Death of Comedian David A. Arnold

The passing of beloved comedian David A. Arnold shook the entertainment world. Arnold was a comedian, actor, writer and producer who headlined two Netflix comedy specials. He was a writer/producer on the “Fuller House” reboot, and creator and showrunner of Nickelodeon’s, “That Girl Lay Lay.” The comedian, who was also a social media star, had premiered his Netflix comedy special, “It Ain’t for the Weak,” in July and was in the midst of a national comedy tour at the time of his passing. His comedy focused on his intense love of his family, namely his blended parental family, wife Julie and daughters Anna-Grace and Ashlyn. His family announced Arnold died of natural causes. He was 54.

Comedian David A. Arnold died at 54 at the height of his popularity. He was 54.


South African President Ramaphosa survived a move to start impeachment proceedings against him in a vote in parliament December 13, 2022. Ramaphosa is the subject of an ongoing scandal linked to the theft of more than $500,000 in cash from his private game farm in 2020. The cash was stuffed inside a leather sofa according to the panel investigation.

The panel, led by a former chief justice, found that the crime was not reported to the police and that there was a “deliberate decision to keep the investigation secret.”

After initial speculation that he would resign, Ramaphosa’s lawyers sought to challenge the panel’s findings in court. The president has repeatedly denied the allegations saying the money was from the sale of wildlife at his Phala Phala farm.

In a move that upended the investigation, the African National Congress’ (ANC) top leadership called on their parliamentary caucus to block the investigation. One by one, MPs were asked to articulate their vote in person after requests to hold the vote in secret was ruled out by the Speaker of Parliament. There were a few ‘yes’ votes from ANC members, and a couple of no-shows, but their caucus largely held together. Opposition parties were mostly unified on calling for an impeachment inquiry. The vote, which failed, required a simple majority. 

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa. ((Photo: Google Images)


January 2022 was rocked by news Miss USA 2019 Chesli Kryst jumped out of a NYC building, ending a life that many believed to have been charmed. The Charlotte, NC native was an Emmy-nominated correspondent for EXTRA entertainment news and a civil litigation attorney who had been privately dealing with high-functioning depression. The fan favorite hid it from everyone, including her mother, whom she only told about her struggles shortly before her death by suicide. Beloved television personality, executive producer and dancer Stephen “DJ tWitch” Boss died by suicide in December 2022. DJ tWitch had a nearly constant social media presence. His much publicized death left Hollywood friends like Ellen DeGeneres, fans of “You Think You Can Dance,” and “The Ellen Show,” and his social media followers reeling. He is survived by his wife Allison Holker and three children. 

Former Miss USA Chesli Kryst died by suicide in January 2022.



Popular South African actress Busisiwe “Buusi” Lurayi was known for outstanding performances in “City Ses’la” (2005), “How to Ruin Christmas” (2020) and “Wild at Heart” (2006). In Netflix‘s “How to Ruin Christmas,” Busi played the lead character of the incorrigible Tumi, who brought drama and merriment wherever she surfaced helping to propel the series to the one of the streamers most viewed shows. On July 10, 2022, Busi was found dead in her home in Thembisa, Gauteng, South Africa by her father. Lurayi died prior to filming season three of the hit Netflix show. A cause of death has not been disclosed. Lurayi was 36.

Popular South African actress Busi Lurayi was found dead in her home July 2022. The cause of death was never revealed. She was 36. (Photo: Google Images)


On April 28, 2022, the UK overseas territory, the British Virgin Islands took a major hit to its elegant image, after news broke that Premier Andrew Fahie had been arrested in Miami in connection with a cocaine and money laundering scheme.  

Following that arrest, the Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority, Oleanvine Maynard and her son Kadeem Maynard were also arrested and charged. Premier Fahie submitted his letter of resignation 8 months after his arrest, pending the start of his trial. Fahie is being prosecuted for knowingly traveling across interstate to facilitate a business enterprise involving narcotics.

The Ex-Premier’s trial is expected to start in 2023.  

British Virgin Islands former Premier Andrew Fahie. (Photo: Google Photos)


Basketball legend and Phoenix Mercury center Britney Griner was arrested and charged with drug possession when cartridges of cannabis oil were allegedly found in her bag when she entered Russia to play in the NBA off-season. Griner played for Russia’s national team and lived in Russia part-time for seven years. Fans, fellow professional athletes and Griner’s wife rallied for Griner’s freedom, pulling the White House into the fray. Griner’s arrest, conviction and sentence of nine years in prison happened just after Russia invaded the Ukraine.

On December 8, Griner who had been moved to a Russian prison colony, was released in a prisoner swap with convicted Russian arms dealer Victor Bout.

Basketball Superstar Brittany Griner was arrested, convicted and spent months in a Russian prison before a prisoner swap orchestrated by the U.S. government


Following a two-year investigation by a state appointed task force made up of community leaders and politicians tasked with looking into the feasibility of making reparations to descendants of enslaved Black people who lived in the state, the task force offered recommendations of how to make restitution for the wrongs that resulted from slavery. The task force found in addition to enslavement, over generations their descendants were victimized by racial terror, political and economic disfranchisement, housing segregation, poor education and general institutionalized and systemic racism. The task force found reparations should ensue and recommended each eligible descendant be awarded $233,000. A final report is expected next year.

California is investigating reparations for descendants of enslaved Blacks. (Photo: KQEP)

This post was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder and editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary this year. Follow The Burton Wire on Instagram or Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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