OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE TATE FAMILY on Greg Tate’s Passing

12/13/21

“The hope for a joyous holiday season has been somberly paused as we find ourselves grappling with the sudden and terrible loss of our beloved Greg Tate by cardiac arrest. 

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The light in this dark time has been found in reading and hearing the countless reflections, anecdotes, and testaments to inspiration that illuminate how Greg impacted so many lives in addition to our own. Thank you for your statements and outpouring of support. 

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They have sustained us at a time of unimaginable grief.  Greg was an amazing son, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, nephew, cousin – a family man in the deepest African sense. He was also a gentle giant of Black  radical thought and creativity, an invaluable friend, and a generous mentor to many. 

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We intend to honor him in a manner worthy of his legacy. Within the next several days, our immediate family will hold a private home-going service for Greg. 

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In the months ahead, we will explore all the ways we can publicly celebrate his life and works. For that, we will hope for the privilege of working with many of you to help us recognize Greg in the myriad ways that he deserves, to keep his light shining on us all.” 

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~ Geri, Brian & Chinara Tate

Photo of Greg Tate by Žiga Koritnik
HEARTBREAK: Friend/father/mentor/brother/galvanizer/agitator/community-builder and BRC Co-Founder Greg Tate has passed away
Greg Tate at BRC Orchestra Blaxploitation Songbook, Schomburg Center NYC, 2010

The Black Rock Coalition is shocked, saddened and absolutely devastated with the news that our brother, friend and co-founder Greg Tate made his transition on December 7, 2021. Thirty-six years to the day after the first official BRC event, Drop The Bomb.

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Greg, who along with Vernon Reid, Konda Mason and other musicians, journalists, and other visionary, well informed sBlack rock n roll heads, started the Black Rock Coalition in 1985 as a means to combat misinformation about the true of this rock n roll thing of ours, confront the subtle and overt racism that has, and continue to plague the music industry, and to champion those of color who carry the banner proudly and without apology.  

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Greg wrote the original BRC manifesto and the words that changed the lives and perspectives of the many women and men of color who felt like outsiders within their own culture:  

‘Rock n roll is Black music and we are its heirs.’

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Greg lived this manifesto in every aspect of his life, whether as a kid growing up in Dayton, as a student at Howard University and upon his arrival in New York in 1982 as a writer for The Village Voice.  Greg led the wave of Black writers who, without apology, honored the past yet went full speed ahead into the future, giving dap to Black artists across the cultural spectrum who were not getting love within mainstream circles.  

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Greg thought globally but acted locally, as evidenced by his books Flyboy In The Buttermilk, Everything But The Burden, Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and The Black Experience.  He led the badass improvisation ensemble, Burnt Sugar: The Arkestra Chamber for over decades, which honored the legacy of the late and sadly missed Lawrence ‘Butch’ Morris, and showed some of the best and baddest players from all over the world.

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The footprint he left on The Black Rock Coalition is immeasurable.

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Everyone here at The Black Rock Coalition sends out its deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to his daughter Chinara, grandson Nile, sister Geri, brother Brian, sister-in-law Maureen, his niece, and all those who knew and loved him dearly.  

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Peace be with you brother.

IT’S HERE: Download RAVERS—The Black Rock Coalition Arts Magazine, Sustaining Black Self-Determination Issue (Fall Solstice)
Historic: BRC Community Virtual Meeting
We met by Zoom and chopped it up with the meeting and then the meeting after the meeting. You know how we do. If not, we’ll be sure to do it again soon…
AVAILABLE NOW: Download Rock ‘n’ Roll Reparations, v.4

The download codes are ready for our BRC 35th Anniversary Compilation—Rock ‘n Rock Reparations, v. 4. Thanks to all the artists who’ve shared music. Now that we’ve done the hard work of picking the songs that best represent what Black self-determination, Afrofuturism, and the BRC have to offer in this anniversary year, we look forward to sharing it with you. Email BRC35@blackrockcoalition.org with “V4 Code” in the subject and we’ll get it out to you. Hope y’all enjoy.

Historic: Celebration BRC: 35 Years Into Tomorrow

A 4-day marathon of BRC memories, performances, discussions, and music.

 


Eternal appreciation to Joi, Kat Dyson, Maureen Mahon, Honeychild Coleman, DJ Reborn, Nona Hendryx, Will Calhoun, Kevin Strait, Rob Fields, Petra Richterova, William Helms, Angelo Moore, Chris Metzler, Lev Anderson, Fishbone, DJ Logic, David Ryan Harris, Konda Mason, Greg Tate, Vernon Reid, Craig Street, Flip Barnes, and DJ Greg Caz for joining us live in the room for some pretty amazing discussions. An additional shoutout is due to the BRC OGs who came through throughout the event, some of whom gave video interviews which will be shown in social media later. In particular, Don Eversley, Bill Toles, Jared Michael Nickerson, Jan de Silva, Michael Hill, Jimmy Saal, JT Lewis, Melvin Gibbs, Kelvyn Bell, Bevis Griffin, Beverly Jenkins, Marque Gilmore, Tracie Morris, Jimi Hazel, Rick Skatore, Chuck Brownley, and so many others.

 

And beaucoup thank yous to Living Colour, David Ryan Harris, Van Hunt, Faith, Sophia’s Toy, The 1865, Jackie Venson, Blak Emoji, The Oxymorrons, Tamar-kali, Model Decoy, 100 Watt Heart, Militia Vox, Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, Marcus Machado, Stew, The Family Stand, Three5Human, Dope Sagittarius, Thaylobleu, Slapbak, Band Of Gypsys Revisited Band, Screaming Headless Torsos, and Shelley Nicole’s BlaKbüshe for sharing rare, exclusive, or little-seen live video performances.

 

And for those of you who joined us for one hour or for all four hours on all four nights, THANK YOU. We are community. We could not have gotten to 35 years without it.

 



NEW RELEASE: (FREE ZINE) Make Me Wanna Holler, Issue 2—Art in the Age of Corona

To share our community’s thoughts from inside the Corona Virus Pandemic, the Black Rock Coalition has released the second issue of our “Make Me Wanna Holler” anthology series. We thought it was important to ask some of our favorite people, from across the artistic spectrum, to express how they are coping, creating, and maintaining during this unprecedented moment in history.


Featuring writings by M. Kumasi Rogers, Brian Tate, Kamara Thomas, Kelsey Warren, Meshell NdegeocelloLaRonda Davis, Melvin Gibbs, Malxolm BrixkhouseQADR, Leron Thomas (Pan Amsterdam), Sandra St. Victor, V. Jeffrey Smith, Peter Lord, Leah King, Darrell M. McNeill & Earl Douglas, Jr.

Iconic: May 19, #RememberRonny on his birthday

Ronny Drayton, guitar god, legendary human, and BRC fam, would’ve turned 67 on May 19. Because the world shut down before we could plan a proper send off, we wanted to join everyone together online to celebrate his life and influence on the day of his birth.

 
We asked people who loved him to post the picture above with their favorite Ronny story and the hashtag #RememberRonny. We wanted to give the world a small glimpse of the impact he had on the lives of so many. For all he’s done for the community, we owe so much back.
NEW: BRC Merch for Sale

They’re finally here, y’all. T-Shirts, stickers, even shower curtains. With a sneak peek, just in time for our 35th Anniversary. Shout out to @TOOFLY_NYC for help with the 35 logo design. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Historic: The Digital Premiere of History of Our Future @ The Met

For those of you who couldn’t get a ticket to our sold-out show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year, the Met gave folks a chance to see what they missed. For FREE. In memory of the incomparable Ronny Drayton.