The Greater Washington Urban League

Thank you, Greater Washington Urban League @GWUL365 It was a pleasure meeting with your President and CEO George H. Lambert, Jr. I had a delightful time discussing Turn Me Loose with the very talented Ms. Roland Marie Turner

Host of GWULs On Track Radio Show on WPGC (link below). Here’s to 80 years of service 🙏🏿

Sun Oct 7th – 2pm join the Greater Washington Urban League and the Gregory family @ Arena stage for Turn Me Loose followed by a post-show conversation with the cast. Purchase tickets @ https://www.gwul.org/copy-of-special-events-1

*Please note – The exclusive post-show conversation with the cast is for GWUL ticket-holders only.

*Proceeds will benefit the Greater Washington Urban League’s Youth Development Programs.

WPGC interview—

https://www.dropbox.com/s/86xxxcvk8nqig0n/On%20Track%20Dr.%20Christian%20Gregory%20Part%20One%202018.mp3?dl=0

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Turn Me Loose / Arena Stage

https://www.arenastage.org/tickets/season-landing/turn-me-loose/

Epic opening night! What an incredible performance. Please don’t miss the opportunity to experience what the entire DC area is electrified over. For tickets please visit arenastage.org the play runs through October 14th!

Heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to everyone who had a hand in opening night’s official DC premier of Turn Me Loose @arenastage — Thank you to the Sponsors, Artistic Director – Molly Smith, President of the corporation – Edgar Dobie, Trustee Board Chair -Judith N. Batty, Playwright – Gretchen Law, Director – John Rubin • Actors

-Edwin Lee Gibson- a force to be reckoned with as Dick Gregory, he’s clearly been training for this role for his lifetime, John Carlin – Class, talent and grace on full display as he portrays a multitude of characters most whom lack the love for humanity that he clearly exudes • Show manager – Cheryl Dennis, Producer -Ron Simons, Thank you to the Designers, the Coaches (hello Kim James Bey), Stage Managers (hello Erin Cass) and Company Managers, and to anyone I may have inadvertently omitted.

Thank all of you for this epic journey called Turn Me Loose. Thank you for allowing us to travel back and forth in time to watch this geniuses we simply called Dad, shine his light.

https://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2018/09/14/review-turn-me-loose-at-arena-stage/

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

For 72 hours, I had the pleasure of traveling between Florida, Alabama and Georgia. It was 1,217 miles of purposeful driving, reflecting, soul searching, redemption and release. The purpose of our road trip was to retrace the steps of my father, Dick Gregory, and to speak with many of his Civil Rights friends and colleagues.

I traveled all over the world with my father, we had a unique bond. My father was a wildly successful, transformative comedian and a Civil Rights legend. Despite generational sacrifice, he so frequently expressed personal disappointment for not doing more. He felt far too many activists were abandoned and forgotten—forgotten soldiers. The age demographic of those activists is now at a point that we are losing them at an alarming rate. My charter is to find a way to help, comfort and thank them while gathering and championing their sacrifice and stories.

In activism, just like entertainment, there are lists. We all know the A listers of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of them are household names. My father always did an incredible job of paying homage to all of the lists: B list, C list, D list. Movements require the masses and the masses joined the leaders and made unimaginable sacrifices. Many today can’t imagine the totality of what it took to stand up and demand equality. Since my father’s passing, I have felt more like a medium than a grieving son. I was given marching orders, those orders were simple. Thank and protect the leaders, the supporters and the nameless. Gather their stories, protect their stories and share their stories with the world. Promote the true vision of global humanity and work with others to start the redemption and release process for generations who endured inhumane treatment, inhumane laws and inhumane policies. Joy commeth in the morning. Morning requires the sun to rise, and for the sun to rise it must first set. I want to set in motion a pathway for redemption and release for all of humanity.

In Montgomery, Alabama, our first visit was to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, informally known as the National Lynching Memorial. The memorial is set on majestic acreage, adjacent to downtown, not far from slave auction houses where many of the 12 million African slaves, and later their children, were bought and sold. On this peaceful, grass-covered, gently sloping hill sits a spiritual cemetery—a marker, if you will, for horrifying acts of evil and savagery so repulsive it defies words and understanding. As blacks began to experience some semblance of freedom and hope, whites became outraged and refused to conform. “Racial Terror Lynchings emerged as the primary tool to enforce racial hierarchy and oppression.“

The memorial is breathtakingly beautiful, too beautiful for the viciousness that led to the horrific death of the human beings it is there to memorialize. Upon entering, you walk past dramatic metal sculptures circled and connected in neck chains. These metal sculptures of African slaves had facial expressions of pure agony and fresh whip marks. The rust from the chains discolored the metal and took on the appearance of blood stains. Difficult to look at, you almost want to quickly get past it and begin to ascend the slope that almost feels like you’re getting away from it. The walk up this hill and the awe-inspiring beauty of its surroundings gives way to a sense of comfort, but truthfully this walk is like a walkable timeline from our ancestors’ arrival here as slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries to 1877 when federal Reconstruction troops were suddenly withdrawn leaving blacks to fend for themselves. As you turn the corner, you are greeted by a contemporary, concrete, wood and steel large memorial structure. Large metal poles hang from the ceiling and connect to large metal boxes that dangle before your eyes, rigid but frail. These boxes represent the thousands of black men, women and children who were brutally lynched and the metal poles represent the lynching rope. Truthfully, it is too beautiful for the atrocities it represents. But memorials are not meant to depict horrendous acts, they are there to pay tribute and homage to the victims. This memorial is a reminder to humanity, a reminder of how primitive and brutal humans can become when they lose their humanity. The memorial is impactful and excellently designed. Black folks and white folks peacefully walk, observe and reflect side by side. In this very same county generations ago, their white ancestors savagely killed black men, women and children as white men, women and children looked on and cheered and celebrated. I sit for awhile to soak in both the horrification and the awkward beauty. I sit and discretely stare at the white families taking in the atrocities of their ancestors. I’m suddenly struck by the reality that this memorial must be difficult for them. They look confused and ashamed of the beautifully depicted savagery. The design is so beautiful it draws them in, and once in they find themselves surrounded by the death and destruction that just a few generations ago their ancestors were responsible for. I sat there feeling like a tower of resilience, an indicator of black endurance. A proud, black, decent, humane being that felt equally disgust, rage and sympathy for a mentality so frail and fearful it needed state-sponsored terrorism to cope. At that point, my concern for the white visitors there experiencing the memorial ended. I was consumed with the black journey. I meditated and allowed my energy to apologize for what all of the black people memorialized there had to endure. I felt ashamed and saddened for humanity. How do we begin to heal? What is our path forward? Despite the memorial’s name, I felt no justice, no peace, no silver lining. The emptiness I departed with only added to my resolve to pay global homage and blaze a path forward with tools, understanding and resources to assist all of those dealing with and processing injustice.

I am incredibly thankful for this memorial. It is a must visit, a must experience, a marker and a reminder. As Americans, we are better than this. I smile thinking that despite best efforts to annihilate it black excellence persevered. To acknowledge black excellence is not to imply that we cornered the market on excellence. All walks of life, races, religions and creeds have the potential for excellence and have certainly expressed it. In celebrating black excellence we’re just acknowledging how far African Americans have come from an atrocious era in American history.

Until next time, stay focused and stay the course.

Respectfully,

Christian Gregory

Learn more about the National Memorial for Peace and Justice:

https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/

Reflection • Appreciation • Gratitude

As Dick Gregory would say, ”When they love you, they love you” — Heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the hundreds of loving hands and minds that prepared, arranged and presented the week-long Dick Gregory Exhibit at The Oxon Hill Manor. The love for the man and his sacrifice is palpable throughout the exhibit. A picture is worth a thousand words but fails to channel the depth and breadth of the energy. This must-see exhibit is free and open daily from 10 am – 8 pm (weekdays) and closes Saturday (2/24) at 5 pm.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you Prince George’s County Maryland, Department of Parks & Recreation and The Manor at Oxon Hill 🙏🏿

Dick Gregory: His Life, His Work, His Legacy

Opening Day, Sunday, February 18, 2018

Date:

February 18, 2018 – February 24, 2018

Time:

Sunday 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Monday – Friday 10 AM – 8 PM

Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM

Location:

Oxon Hill Manor

Address:

6901 Oxon Hill Manor Road

Oxon Hill, MD 20745

Contact:

301-839-7782; TTY 301-699-2544

Cost:

FREE!!

Join us for this week-long celebration of the life and accomplishments of the late Dick Gregory. For the entire week, an exhibit will be on display where you can learn about his contributions to a variety of fields, including comedy, civil rights, humanitarian efforts, and nutrition. There will also be activities throughout the week, including an opening reception; a book signing with members of the Gregory family; a Family and Friends Night of reflections; and, a performance of Ayanna Gregory’s stage play based on her father’s life.

This event is in partnership with the Harmony Hall Regional Center’s John Addison Concert Hall. Spend the week with us and learn more about this phenomenal personality.

Age: All ages are welcome

To expedite your visit please RSVP at:

OHManor@pgparks.com

For a full schedule of events please visit

arts.pgparks.com

Dick Gregory chose to be an agitator!

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dick-gregory-i-chose-to-be-an-agitator/

”I chose to be an agitator. And there’s one interesting thing about being an agitator — and I tell people — the next time you put your underwear in the washing machine, take the agitator out, and all you’re going to end up with is some dirty, wet drawers.”

Please join us tomorrow (February 18, 2018) and all of next week, as we walk the halls of The Oxon Hill Manor and look at the magnificent display of 60 years of Service, Agitation, and Sacrifice. Brought to you by Prince George’s County, Maryland Department of Parks & Recreation.

Dick Gregory: His Life, His Work, His Legacy

Opening Day, Sunday, February 18, 2018

Date:

February 18, 2018 – February 24, 2018

Time:

Sunday 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Monday – Friday 10 AM – 8 PM

Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM

Location:

Oxon Hill Manor

Address:

6901 Oxon Hill Manor Road

Oxon Hill, MD 20745

Contact:

301-839-7782; TTY 301-699-2544

Cost:

FREE!!

Join us for this week-long celebration of the life and accomplishments of the late Dick Gregory. For the entire week, an exhibit will be on display where you can learn about his contributions to a variety of fields, including comedy, civil rights, humanitarian efforts, and nutrition. There will also be activities throughout the week, including an opening reception; a book signing with members of the Gregory family; a Family and Friends Night of reflections; and, a performance of Ayanna Gregory’s stage play based on her father’s life.

This event is in partnership with the Harmony Hall Regional Center’s John Addison Concert Hall. Spend the week with us and learn more about this phenomenal personality.

Age: All ages are welcome

To expedite your visit please RSVP at:

OHManor@pgparks.com

For a full schedule of events please visit

arts.pgparks.com

Dick Gregory: His Life, His Work, His Legacy

(WATCH) Christian Gregory – Dick Gregory Exhibit

Dick Gregory: His Life, His Work, His Legacy

Opening Day, Sunday, February 18, 2018

Date:

February 18, 2018 – February 24, 2018

Time:

Sunday 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Monday – Friday 10 AM – 8 PM

Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM

Location:

Oxon Hill Manor

Address:

6901 Oxon Hill Manor Road

Oxon Hill, MD 20745

Contact:

301-839-7782; TTY 301-699-2544

Cost:

FREE!!

Join us for this week-long celebration of the life and accomplishments of the late Dick Gregory. For the entire week, an exhibit will be on display where you can learn about his contributions to a variety of fields, including comedy, civil rights, humanitarian efforts, and nutrition. There will also be activities throughout the week, including an opening reception; a book signing with members of the Gregory family; a Family and Friends Night of reflections; and, a performance of Ayanna Gregory’s stage play based on her father’s life.

This event is in partnership with the Harmony Hall Regional Center’s John Addison Concert Hall. Spend the week with us and learn more about this phenomenal personality.

Age: All ages are welcome

To expedite your visit please RSVP at:

OHManor@pgparks.com

For a full schedule of events please visit

arts.pgparks.com

Spiritual Trillionaire

Rags to Riches

Lower photo credit ~ The Heartist @ https://theheartistartwork.bigcartel.com/

I’ve seen my father express more outrage than shock, rarely was he ever surprised. Nowhere was this more evident than with price-tags/ sticker price. When it came to price, he was virtually unshakable. I would imagine growing up in a true rags to riches story shapes one’s mind differently. I often see wealthy people argue over a mislabeled price. Some of my most affluent patients would argue over a $5 co-payment. Truthfully, wealth is a mindset. I believe my father was a conduit for wealth to flow through. When the universe blesses you so frequently, you tend to stop worrying about it. Like my father said in his first autobiography “Nigger,” ‘not poor, just broke’ which is a truly profound statement. Poor is a mindset and attitude, but broke is a momentary reality. If you’re broke because you misplaced your wallet, well once you’ve located it, you’re no longer broke. However, if you are poor, as in poor financial reality, poor health, poor attitude or poor judgment, that typically endures. It is an energy. Some of the wealthiest people I’ve known were penniless and could care less, while some of the richest were miserable. Broke people typically don’t chase money, they await its arrival.

Before man established the concept of money and property, man, like the rest of the animal kingdom, simply allowed the universe to provide. It was within this universal sustainment where my father resided. Most manmade sillinesses got by him, not from a lack of seeing it, but for refusing to embrace it. This position liberated his mind and his attitude. He embraced universal freedom and daily blessings, after all, blessings are all about perception. I’ve read stories about billionaires contemplating suicide because their net worth dipped, say 8 billion to 5 billion, and they became suddenly sad and suicidal. This mindset would probably be pervasive but most won’t become billionaires.

For me, I simply feel blessed to have run alongside a true spiritual trillionaire who had not a care in the world. Life is about living not chasing. Stop running and enjoy the scenery.

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/when-dick-gregorys-face-appeared-on-the-dollar-bill/