Thoughts on Greg Tate, a Black boy Genius
By Michael Simanga
Greg Tate was a child of the Black Arts Movement. It is important to remember the foundation of his great contributions. He grew up in the heat of Black cultural production, unparalleled in its influence on every discipline in the arts. His parents, Florence and Charles Tate, were movement people with their lives committed to Black liberation, self-determination, and justice. That knowledge and light is present in everything he wrote. It is not the exclusive place of his learning, but it is the source.
He was a scholar of Black culture and philosophy, speaker of the music, an imaginer, seer of the future, but always present in the present. He slid through time and place, hearing, tasting, seeing the notes, whether written, played, sung, composed, or improvised. Nothing moved outside his curiosity. Since birth, Greg Tate bathed in our beautiful darkness, stretching across time and place of the people who made music out of every experience and danced to it. In his life and writings, the sound and movement always held hands in our world.
He curated words, performances, images, and exhibitions, reminding us art is food, worship, medicine, and weapon.
Greg Tate nourished his mind and creative hunger because his need to do what he was called to do required endless study, training, sitting at the feet of elders and masters, learning the culture, and standing on solid ground when exploring and learning from the cultures of the world. With his great intellect and creativity, Greg Tate could have done anything he wanted. He chose us. He chose his parents and community. He chose Black artists as his family, Black people as his country, and the world as his birthright. He lived beyond the tangibles, traveling between worlds, seeing things we couldn’t get to yet. He unselfishly gifted his gifts to us.
Words flew out of his head, capturing the secrets of the culture and he wrote them down with precise patterns of improvised messages like maps to freedom in a sister’s cornrows. We met him as flesh but understand him as a spirit of all of it.
He was writer, musician, photographer, painter, and DJ.
The movement of Black bodies on stage, at house parties, or on the street.
The rapper’s cadence, the poet’s potion, eyes of the filmmakers.
The call and the response.
And we know this because it’s in all those words he wrote for us.
Long Live the Spirit of Greg Tate!
Browse and shop for fine art from our growing network of artists, collectors, estates, galleries — specializing in works by Black American artists with great values on premier art.
START COLLECTING ART
Sign up for our free email course on how to begin your collection.
Would you buy stock in BAIA if you could? Well we invite you to join us in becoming a monthly supporter, starting at just $3 a month YOU become a stakeholder and begin to help us transform lives through art. We are growing the BAIA team and will use your contributions to hire more team members for the purpose of creating more educational and marketing resources for schools and universities about african american artists both past and present. Such art initiatives and educational programming like Blacklite with Steve Prince, Relating to Art with Dr. Kelli Morgan, and BAIA BITS would not be possible without the ongoing support of our Patreon members. Please consider becoming a monthly Patreon member today!
Review our list of rewards for becoming a BAIA Patreon / patron supporter. Your monthly contribution has lasting benefits. — “What will your legacy be” – Dr. Margaret Burroughs
Thank you new and recurring monthly Patrons
Deloris and Eddie Young, Esther Silver-Parker, Eugene Foney, Zadig & Voltaire, Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, John and Melanie Guess, Frank Frazier, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Leslie Fields, Jim Nixon, Dr. Michael Butler, Mary “Madea” Jones, Patrick Stewart, Noreen Winningham, Reg Pugh, Kevin Smokler, Deborah R. Moore, Dr. Skyller Walkes, Jae M, Jocelyne Lamour, Marion Zweig, Shannon DeVaney, Ashlee Jacob, DaNia Childress, Rev. Anita Marshall, Mary Ali-Masai, Devera Redmond, Roslyn Valentine, Robin King, Brenda Larnell, Michael, Jeffery Washington, Tricia Konan, Debra L Lacy CHARLES BIBBS, Fredric Isler, Silvia Peters, Harold Moore, Shurvon Haynes K.Coleman Shannon Dale Davis Terese L Hawkins M. Rasheed Jamal Love Annette, Mason Archie, Manuelita Brown, Carolyn L. Mazloomi Gale Ross KL Martin michael jacobs Virginia Joy Simmons Christ Van Loan Sr. Cecilia Winters-Morris, Rosie Gordon-Wallace, Pearlie Taylor, Danny Jenkins, Sara, Lloyd Goode, Marina Kovic, Sarah Rooney, Mitchell Shohet, Nicole Farley, Cheryl B Blankman, Jocelyn Greene, Laura Di Piazza Petrina Burkard Hannah Diener Sarah Drury Claire Sig Mina Silva Whitney, Sara Friesen, Megan LaCroix, Kellyn Maguire, Sophia Bellin,o Cory Huff, Wilhelmina Barker, Linda Eaddy, Shelley Danzy, Rosalyn D. Elder, Sonia Spencer Karen Pinzolo Desiree Dansan, Deborah Paige-Jackson, ALKEBU LAN IMAGES Bookstore DeLores M Dyer, Shelia, Harry F Banks, Susan Ross, Dr. Diane R. Miles, Carlton Cotton, Andre Mitchell, Joan L. Ward, JOCELYN BENITA SMITH, Paul Robinson, Janice Orr, Patricia D Dungy, Ethnie Weekes, Shawn Rhea, Duke Windsor, Runez M Bender, Karen Y House, M Belinda Tucker, Dr. Yonette Thomas, Diana Shannon Young, Judith Hamilton, Julia Turner Lowe, Francene Greene, Caryliss R. Weaver, Sharmon Jane Hilfinger, Bill and Deborah Nix, joyce a, Wanda Baker-Smith, Timothy Gandley, Anneke Schwob, Emily M, Rachael horner, Morris Howard, Marie L Johnson, Ayoka Chenzira, Jean Gumpper, Caitlin Charles, Becca H,. Dr. Darlene White, Dr. Sandra Boyce Broomes, Michele C. Mayes, Rita Crittenden, Reginald Laurent, Jea Delsarte, Brenda Brooks, Suzette Renwick, BEVERLY GRANT, Linda B. Smith, Judith Bergeron, Emily Hegeman Cavanagh, Teri L Lewis, Cooky Goldblatt, Danni Cerezo, Hollis Turner, cdixon06, Freda Davis, Sarah Caputo, jacki rust, Curtis Morrow, Christina Levine, Jessica Beckstrom, Kim Walker, Pamela Hart, Ted Ellis, Louise berner-holmberg, Carla Sonheim, Nicole Bruce, Alison Deas, Monikapi, Ashley Littlefield, Reginald Browne Bill Cook, SylviaWong Lewis, DONNA PAXTON, Kanika Marshall, Cheyenne, Nancy Maignan, Kimberly Smith, Tracy Russ, Gwen Meharg, K Joy Peters, johnnie mae maberry, Lester Marks, Zishan Evans, Anne king, Dianna A. Harris, Arbrie Griffin Bradley, Sandra Sautner, Barbara Brown, Bronwen Hodgkinson, Sonia Deane, January Hoskin, Quinton Foreman, Key Mosley, Jim Alexander, Terri Pease, Annette Groschke, Richard MacMillan, D T Ray, Camille, Elayne Gross, Ann Tankersley, Samori Augusto, Karen M Hirsch, Jeanne H Chaney, Jacqueline Konan, Jerome Moore, Patricia Andrews-Keenan, India Still, Luna Cascade, Amy Peck, Marnese Barksdale, Elder Bridgette, René McCullough, Kevin and Tracy Burton, Raven Burnes, Kim Dubois, Edwina King Diva E, Charlotte Bender, Phyllis Stephens, Alisa R Elliot, Ebony English, Otto Neals, Michael Nix, Terri Bowles, Nelly Maynard, Leslie Smith, Bernard W. Kinsey, Toby Sisson, Raynard Hall, Milton Loupe, Wren Mckinley, Arturo Lindsay, Lindiwe Stovall Lester, Phil, Ricki Carroll, Sherman E Jackson Jr, Janine P Rouson, Raynard Hall, Vickie Townsend-Carter, Peter Prinz, PB Fine Art Appraisal, Alison Woods, Suzette Davis, Carlton Cotton, Art Now After Hours, Diane E Leifheit, Tamara clements, lisa tomlinson, vince leal, Deborah BarnwellGarr, Sonia Pollard, Barbara Hayes, Loretta Y Blakely, Gregg Y, Paige Jernigan, Randy McAnulty, raven walthor, Will Johnson, jack, Shameika Ingram, Trina Virginia Brooks, Black Wall Street Gallery, Suzanne Roberts, Faye Edwards, Tara, Crystal Green, Sedonia Phillips Kniskern, R Simpson, Kate Gadd, Judy Nyquist, Velma McLaurin-Bell, Frazier and Myra O’Leary, Rosemarie Rogers, Elaine Buchsbaum, Hope Elliott, Renee Williams Jefferson, Atiya Slaughter, Stephanie Stephens, Takisia Whites, Robert Taylor, Christina, Taylor Jackson, Brenda Joyner, Dr. Karen Patricia Williams, Paul Daniel Curtis, Zawadi, DJIBRIL N’DOYE, Monique Johnson, Christine J Vincent, Paige Jernigan, Willa Bandler, Valerie A. Cooper, Cordell Boyd, DARRIS L SHAW, Shurvon Haynes, S J, Cynthia Hargrove, THERESA PATTERSON, Kree8tive DJ
We Appreciate Your Support