Like most large families, Our family was subdivided into groups.
(Richard Jr. 1963-1963)
Satori (Pamela) – Inte
Gregory (one name)
The 3 Little-Guys:
As the three youngest in the family, our journey was a little different. We had all of the combined years of wisdom and parenting that our folks worked out on the older 7, in addition to all of the co-parents our older siblings had become.
We invite you to join Christian, Ayanna, and Yohance on WPFW’s Wake-Up and Stay-Woke Wednesday, September 25th as we guest host Dr. E. Faye Williams’ show. Please join us on-air or online for what’s certain to be a laughter-filled, enlightening journey. An insightful trip down memory lane. #dickgregory #lilliangregory
In 1973, my father had a vision while fasting. He saw the entire city of Chicago on fire. This vision disturbed him so much that he decided right then to relocate our family.
My folks with their small search delegation found a farm located in Plymouth, MA. The farm was over a hundred acres and it abutted right up against the 12,000 acre, Myles Standish State Forest.
The farm, very secluded at the end of a long 1/2 mile private dirt road, Tower Hill Farm Road.
Tower Hill Farm was basically an incubator. Unbeknownst to us Gregory children, we were the research and development team. It was also a safe place my father could retreat from the rigors of being on the road to recharge his mind, body and soul.
We ate a clean plant-based, whole food diet. We were super woke before the woke movement. We laughed into delirium and we were trained, through actions not words, how to be peaceful and loving warriors. Intellect was celebrated over athleticism, however, being fit and athletic was a must. My parents had a phenomenal support team to co-raise our large brood, Big Mike and Angie Silver to name a few, these folks were not helpers, they were distinguished members of the village who received the same respect as our mother and father.
Summers were rooted in activism, we’d ship out to be involved with movement all over the world. Like 10 ducklings following our folks, we knew we’d see and experience things most kids our age only read about. Our back to school, what did you do this summer essays were epic.
The farm was an alcohol and drug free zone. The contraband for us Gregory kids was sneaking in junk food from the perimeter. Candy was our illicit drugs, once hooked it was hard to shake. Lol
With that said, I’d like to welcome the other two little guys. Very few families can start a pride-filled conversation with how old were you when you were first arrested. In the Gregory family civil disobedience rap sheets were lengthy.
National Congress of Black Women
March On Washington Film Festival
Washington Spine and Disc
Dr. Mahin Banou
Dr. Erick R. Gaitan
A look at the birth of Motown in Detroit in 1958 until its relocation to Los Angeles in the early 1970s. Featuring rare performances, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage offer insight into the history and cultural impact of Motown Records. Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson retrace Motown’s humble beginnings.
Available on Showtime
“Amazing Grace” is two days of Baptist church condensed to 90 minutes and injected directly into your soul. Shot in 1972 over a 48-hour period in Watts’ New Temple Missionary Baptist Church, this stirring document captured the live recording of the most successful gospel album in history, Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace. At the height of her powers, with 11 number one singles and five Grammys to her credit, she returned to the environment and the music that honed her voice and nurtured her soul. The result became her biggest seller, earning a Grammy and quite possibly more than a few conversions. This film is a powerful love letter to the Black Church, offering a soul-shaking introduction for the unfamiliar and a grandmotherly yank of the arm for those who know—it drags you from the theater straight into the pews.
The documentary was directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, and explores the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and investigates the policies of environmental organizations on this issue. Environmental organizations investigated in the film include Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Rainforest Action Network
An Australian documentary Exposing the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture through drones, hidden & handheld cameras, the feature-length film explores the morality and validity of our dominion over the animal kingdom. Now available to watch online for free.
Bigger is not always better, but in this case it is. Received my advanced/ proof 4th Edition Trade paperback, it’s a definitive collector’s item. Order today and it’ll ship June 11th https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/544206/nigger-by-dick-gregory-with-robert-lipsyte/
The process of writing “nigger” started with an arranged meeting between Gregory and a young, New York Times sportswriter named Robert Lipsyte. The publisher E.P. Dutton had sent many other potential collaborators, however, Gregory didn’t click with any of them.
The project began just a couple weeks after the March on Washington. Lipsyte first met with Gregory on September 15, 1963, the day after the horrific Birmingham, Alabama 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. It was a truly inhuman attack on innocence. Four little girls,
Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson, murdered by four terrorists, known Ku Klux Klansmen and segregationists.
Gregory was deeply disturbed by this hate-induced attack. He recounted his outrage, his anger and heartbreak. Lipsyte traveled with Gregory with a notebook and tape recorder in hand for several months. Much of the writing and recording took place in hotel rooms late at night, after Gregory had finished shows or rallies for the evening.
Gregory said he initially wrote the book for white people to learn about his experience– what racial and economic exclusion can look like in the experience of someone they’d already embraced. He felt Black Americans didn’t need to know about his youthful challenges, they’d lived them too. And yet, the book ascends. It becomes very important and respected throughout a wide cross-section of Americana. It has been required reading at schools and universities. In addition, sections like ”Shame” have regularly been featured in textbooks for children and young adults.
When first published in October of 1964, the naming process was purposeful and deliberate. Gregory named the book ”nigger”, not to be provocative, but as an act of defiance. He knew his defiance would negatively impact sales and limit the marketability of his autobiography. However, he was more concerned with being a change agent. Dick Gregory was a spiritual trillionaire. Money never motivated or guided his decision. He was more concerned with the act of taking the proverbial brick being used to beat Black folks and claiming the ownership of that brick. He was most likely uncertain how this brick would go on to be used, but certain white folks would lose their monopoly on it.
Gregory utilized the word nigger as a tool, intentionally—he had fun with it and made fun of it. He would work the book’s title into his shows and lectures. He’d tell jokes about ”nigger” relentlessly, slowly but surely chipping away at the word’s sting and its bite. We almost need to deconstruct the title and reconstruct it for today’s audience. The word nigger has changed dramatically since 1964, which in itself is a success. This collective change was a preferred and desired outcome. No one stops saying a word because they’re told not to say it. Word use changes when the effect or working definition changes.
For us Gregory children, we routinely had to throw folks a lifeline as they started to stutter and struggle while mentioning they’ve read our father’s autobiography. “Hmm, what’s the name?” while pretending to engage in deep thought to recall the title. Today the word nigger has grown exceptionally complicated and tricky to navigate around.
Today, some five decades later, the title remains provocative, but its usage no longer defiant. This iconic autobiography is so much more than its name. With well over a million copies sold, an uninterrupted 55 years on book stands, the collective message is just as relevant today. The intentions behind the title were successful. Regardless of your position on the word, its impact has dramatically lost its searing bite. The word was once an atom bomb that, once dropped, had crippling effects. Today, the word is more like a rusty musket—a rusty musket that angers elders when youngsters are irresponsible with it, like risky gunplay. A nuclear bomb reduced to a limited effectiveness one-time projectile. A quantum leap by anyone’s analysis.
As we prepared for this new edition, the Estate didn’t want the title to be a bigger take away than the book’s content. However, anyone who knows Gregory knows he hated when folks would say “the N word” instead of nigger. This annoyed him. He felt as though we were behaving like children. He’d say “no one’s ever been raped and said they were ‘R worded’. Truth loses its impact with nicknames.” We chose not to utilize a nickname, we chose to refresh the original cover. In today’s digital age, images are omnipresent. We want this book’s cover to have the deep impact that Gregory originally intended, for it to be shown and highlighted everywhere. This autobiography holds no punches. Today, its collective relevance knows no boundaries and remains very necessary. The fact that this book remains a relevant and necessary lens is shameful. Over 50 years later, we still have significant racial and social economic injustice. Racism is ugly and corrosive. It undoubtedly adversely impacted this great nation’s potential and global standing. The word nigger is a stain on America, a stain that still needs to be cleansed. America continues to have a race problem. Our nation can not begin to fully heal from its atrocities until it acknowledges and atones.
Dick Gregory’s, “nigger” is a reminder. It shows despite a nation’s best efforts to marginalize, the human spirit is bigger than collective prejudice. It shows that truth does not need to be validated by ignorance. We can do better, we must do better. We owe it to all of the marginalized who were unable to slip through the cracks. The world is a better place because Dick Gregory ran fast and talked fast, all the way to a prominent seat at the nation’s table. And once comfortably seated, he never stopped advocating for that little marginalized boy born into utter poverty in 1932’s segregated St. Louis, an unwavering voice of the people.
Dick Gregory said, ”I didn’t learn shame at home, I had to go to school to learn that”. He then went on to take this nation to school with relentless multi-generational activism. This book continues to bring power to the people by speaking up for all Americans.
I am proud and excited to reintroduce to you this iconic autobiography. Please read, share and reread. This is a story of perseverance, survival against all odds and a lifelong commitment to leveling playing fields, even on fields you have no desire to play on.
The world needs more love and less hate. As Gregory would say, it is not enough to be loving if we are not lovable. With love, universal appreciation and on behalf of the Estate of Dick Gregory, we thank you for being a part of this journey.
Dr. Christian Gregory
Thank you Prof. Mark Anthony Neal #LeftofBlack #Duke 🙏🏿 Thank you for the love!