Farewell Dick Gregory
I don’t know really where to start. I will share that my level of gratitude cannot be articulated into words.
A huge thanks to Lord Peaceful and Analog Lady of Analog Media Group for reaching out to me to help create the above Dick Gregory Memorial Recap Video to feature during his memorial services! It was an honor to edit this video and put it all together within a few days time. I was afforded the opportunity to visit D.C. this past weekend and attend the services as well. Super humbling!!
The amount of support Dick Gregory received from friends, celebrities, family and more was fractional in comparison to how much time and effort he gave to not only be insanely well read to lecture about injustice but to actually be in the field, confront the superpowers, assist & encourage younger movements, risk getting arrested, actually getting arrested countless times and just literally be INSANELY resilient for the movement as a whole. The movement I speak of is the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement.
Cicely Tyson‘s opening words to kick off the memorial celebration was absolutely moving and powerfully reminded me of the consistent and very persistent struggle for equality all people of color are going through living in this land we know as the USA. It made me think about how much black people have gone through and how much violence, discrimination and bad vibes we’ve had to endure just to get a TINY piece of peace here in the US. We’re never NOT bothered, bullied / oppressed by the current system in place. It was sad, empowering and vexing to think about.
I give thanks to Omowale Adewale for getting me started with activism way back in 2000. This weekend reminded me of the last time I was in D.C. … I was with Omowale on a Hip-Hop tour and we bumped into Dick Gregory at the local bookstore I said hello and was mad shy…simply because it was HIM. You know?
It’s impossible to turn your head and eyes away from the work that needs to be done. There is definitely a game being played with the working and poor class.
There are also a lot of us that have not recovered from the countless killings of our people in order for this country to be this country. It was a blessing to hear the Native American “Thunder before the storm” Clyde Bellecourt speak and countless others from Malcolm’s daughter to Martin’s sun, Medgar Evers daughter to Richard Pryor’s daughter and tons more.
Insanely humbling. Outside of the gross atmosphere of the music business, the passive hate and politics …this weekend reminded me of my true mission in life. To be fully self-expressed and unrelenting in the face of injustice. Gregory’s daughter sang a song, written to her father that was mindblowing…she shared that she was really shy to sing him the song while still alive and actually contemplating not sharing it with him.. .she worked on it with a partner and decided to sing it to him and said he was moved to tears. If only you guys were there to hear her sing… what an angelic, and soulful voice… pound for pound could easily put Beyonce on her heels! India Irie also made a guest appearance, in addition to The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Rock Newman, Mayor Muriel Bowser and countless, countless more!
The afterparty, curated by Lord Peaceful was really dope! I got to kick it with his cousin, the legendary John “Spider” Salley as well as Chris Gregory and Ryan of Man Bites Dog Records.
I look fwd to more. I used to march and organize many moons ago. I chilled out quite a bit because the work is not easy…but seeing how things are exponentially getting a little bit worse…seeing how our elders are starting to ascend and their wisdom and history leaves with them …I just really want to focus on doing what I can to make sure we honor them by continuing to FIGHT..creatively, legally, economically and much more.
What does the evolution of marching and demonstrating look like? I look forward to exploring this ideal moving forward…our movements need to have an impact that sparks change…faster!
The last thing I’ll share, is to imagine if Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and countless more were still here to LIVE & THRIVE in their elder years like Dick Gregory…? Our people our black, brown and red people would truly be in a different space … the words that came to mind this weekend were “accountability” and “resilience”
We have to be relentless against u know who because they don’t give a shit about any of us, poor white folks included.
This weekend was a powerful reminder that living here in the US as a black man is not a game. It was dope to get behind 2 black business owners Lord Peaceful and Tasha Digital to empower them in this space and just encourage the work they’ve done that afforded the opportunity to be there. I had a side convo with Lord Peaceful.. I’ve been in the entertainment business for over 10 years and I’ve been in activism for almost 20 years. To see how powerfully the God makes moves has been insanely inspiring to me and I look forward to building and encouraging his progress. To all my brothers and sisters.. GET BEHIND EACH OTHER. DO NOT SLACK ON THAT EITHER!!! MAKE SURE TO EMPOWER EACH OTHER BECAUSE WE ARE ALL THAT WE HAVE ON EARTH. IT IS UP TO US AS ORIGINAL PEOPLE TO SAVE THE PLANET AND OUR EXISTENCE …WE HAVE TO FIGHT FOR IT…AND PART OF THAT FIGHT IS TO SIMPLY SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO MAKE MOVES! IT IS REALLY THAT SIMPLE haha.. SPREAD LOVE, SHOW LOVE and BE LOVE! THAT’S IT!!
Last note, to all women that are unyielding in supporting their men to fight injustice I give thanks to you.. brown, white, yellow etc…TO ALL my black & red sisters…sending extra love your way… Thank you for sticking by us men. I pray that our black and red kings can lead the charge of making things right on the planet.