Rest In Peace Mr. Dick Gregory

"My personal experience of meeting Mr. Gregory is when I lived in DC. I volunteered to work at the 50th Anniversary of the March On Washington. My assignment was to assist the attendees of the event. I remember a taxi pulled and a man got out. As I looked I could see it was Mr. Gregory. I greeted him and told him it was an honor. He had a very humble demeanor. He wasn't arrogant nor rude. I saw others, but this interaction stayed with me." Chinue X



Dick Gregory, comedian, actor, and civil rights activist, was born Richard Claxton Gregory in 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Gregory's father left the family when Gregory was a child forcing his mother, Lucille, a maid, to raise him and his five siblings.  During his high school years Gregory joined the track team at Sumner High School and broke several school records.  He consequently won a track scholarship to Southern Illinois University in 1951.  

Around 1953, Gregory’s mother died and he left college.  He was drafted into the Army, where he performed as a comedian and won his first talent show.  Three years after leaving the Army, Gregory made his name as a comedian in Chicago nightclubs while living with his brother Presley.  In 1959, he married Lillian Smith and together they had ten children.

In 1960, Gregory accepted Hugh Hefner’s invitation to perform for a group of white Southerners at Chicago’s Playboy Lounge. The gig turned into a six-week commitment and he received positive reviews in national publications such as Time magazine.  The job helped Gregory become one of the first black comedians to successfully perform in major all-white nightclubs. Through programs such as the Jack Paar Show, he became one of the first black comedians to break through to national white television audiences.  His humor often addressed the contemporary issues of segregation and racism which were being brought to the national spotlight by the civil rights movement.  During this time Gregory increasingly devoted his humor to the civil rights cause.  Between 1961 and 1964 he released In Living Black and White, Dick Gregory Talks Turkey, The Two Sides of Dick Gregory, and Running for President.

In the early 1960s, Gregory befriended Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers and went to Mississippi to march for black voting rights. After Evers’ 1963 murder, Gregory gave up performing full-time to become more involved in the Civil Rights movement.  He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders.  He flew to Moscow, USSR to protest Soviet treatment of black soldiers in 1964.  In 1967, Gregory ran for mayor in Chicago, but lost to Richard J. Daley.  He then organized a failed bid for the presidency in 1968. 

In the early 1970s, Gregory expanded his focus to world hunger and healthy nutrition.  He moved his family to Plymouth, Massachusetts where he became a vegetarian and started running marathons.  Gregory also fasted to draw attention to national and international causes such as racial injustice, the war in Vietnam, world hunger, the treatment of Native Americans, and apartheid.

Over the next three decades, Gregory became a popular speaker on civil and human rights at universities and colleges.  He hosted his own Washington D.C. radio show and wrote several books, including Nigger, Up From Nigger, No More Lies, and Callus on My Soul. He also developed and sold a diet drink.  Late in life, he still performed comedy at St. Louis and New York clubs.  His latest work is Dick Gregory 21st Century “State of the Union.”

Dick Gregory died of heart failure in Washington, D.C. on August 19, 2017. He was 84. 

Source: BlackPast.org

TCXPI Present Afrocentric Education and Its Importance: A Comprehensive Analysis


TCXPI Present Afrocentric Education and Its Importance: A Comprehensive Analysis

This comprehensive analysis examines the value and viability of Afrocentricity, Afrocentric and/or African Centered Education as alternatives to Eurocentric education, and critically analyzes the theoretical frameworks of Afrocentricity as pedagogy for children and youth. 

It will seek to answer the following questions; 
1.) Does Afrocentricity in children and youth shape their identity? 2.) Does Afrocentricity in children and youth shape their academic      achievement? 
3.)Does Afrocentricity in children and youth shape their development? 

To purchase, please visit the CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/7304149



TCXPI First Annual Young Scholar BackPack Give-Away Fundraiser, Oakland, CA

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Rest In Peace Chuck Berry

On This Day In TCXPI History Rest in Peace, 

Chuck Berry, The Founding Father Of Rock n Roll. 

 Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry is considered a pioneer of rock and roll and a major influence on 20th century popular music. His songs such as “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven” are rock and roll standards. 

Chuck Berry was born in St. Louis, Missouri on October 18, 1926 to a middle class family which included six siblings.  His father Henry worked in a flour mill and his mother Martha was a college graduate.  Chuck’s mother played piano and both she and his father were church singers instilling in their son an early interest in music.  

Despite his middle class family background, Berry as a teenager joined two high school friends in committing a short string of armed robberies in Kansas City, Missouri.  They were arrested and Berry was convicted and served three years in prison between 1944 and 1947.

Shortly after he was released Berry married Themetta Suggs. The couple had two children and Berry settled into family life while working at an automobile assembly plant in St. Louis and taking jobs as a carpenter with his father. In his free time Berry finally pursued an early fascination with guitar, taking lessons from Ira Harris, a local jazz guitarist. 

By 1952 Berry was playing professional engagements in St. Louis clubs and eventually joined the St. John’s Trio, led by pianist Johnnie Johnson and including drummer Eddy Hardy.  Berry incorporated elements of country into the trio’s sound but he also brought in blues songs, turning the trio into a prototype rock and roll band.

In 1955 Berry traveled to Chicago where he had a chance meeting with Muddy Waters and asked him for advice about getting to record. Waters sent him to see Leonard Chess at Chess Records who listened to Berry’s home recording of “Ida Mae,” a popular country tune. Chess immediately offered a recording session and on May 21, 1955 Chuck Berry recorded “Ida Mae” with reworked lyrics and a new title, “Maybelline.”  Berry’s first recording, “Maybelline,” reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart and sold over one million copies. By the late 1950s Berry was an established star with several hit records, film appearances, and a profitable touring schedule. In 1962, however, his career was derailed when Berry was convicted of violating the Mann Act for allegedly transporting an underage girl across state lines for immoral purposes, a charge that Berry still disputes.

After his release in 1963 Berry had a string of hits though none reached the popularity of his earlier recordings.  By the 1970s he was primarily in demand for rock and roll revival shows where he played his past hits. In 1972 his live recording of the novelty pop song “My Ding-A-Ling” became his only #1 single on the U.S. pop charts.  He continued touring but in 1979 his insistence in being paid in cash led to a third jail sentence of four months for tax evasion.

In 1986 Berry became one of the first musicians to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  He is also listed as 5th in Rolling Stone magazine’s 2004 list of The Greatest Artists of All Time and 7th on the list of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists.  Now in his late 80s, Chuck Berry continues to play occasional concerts around the globe. 

Source: 
BlackPast.org 
http://www.blackpast.org/aah/berry-charles-edward-anderson-chuck-1926 
(Accessed on 03/17/2017) 

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