A Brief Glimpse Gregory Stephen Tate was born on October 14, 1957, in Dayton, OH. His parents, Charles and Florence Tate, were brilliant civil rights activists who espoused selfless action to advance Black empowerment, racial justice, and social change. They introduced Greg to the sweep of Black culture, politics, history, and possibility that would inform his life’s work.
From his earliest years in Dayton, Greg began writing seriously and teaching himself to play guitar (upside down, and in reverse). His love of family grew from his lifelong bond with his parents, his big sister Geri and baby brother Brian, and the large, loving extended family of his youth. His love of community was born from the frequent gatherings of major
activists, artists, and scholars who regularly arrived to share time and space with the Tates.
After attending Howard University, Greg moved to Harlem in 1984, where he created a new home for himself and created a sprawling new universe built on art, culture, community, activism, and of course, writing and music. He was a staff writer at The Village Voice from 1987-2003, and also wrote for countless other media outlets. His books include Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader (2016); Everything But The Burden, What White People Are Taking From Black Culture (2003), Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and The Black Experience (2003); and Flyboy In The Buttermilk: Essays on American Culture (1993).
In 1985, Greg co-founded the Black Rock Coalition with Vernon Reid, Konda Mason, and other musicians, journalists, and activists. In 1999, Greg founded Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, an improvisational big band which he co-led with bassist Jared Michael Nickerson. To date, Burnt Sugar has produced 22 albums under their direction on its Avant Groidd Musica imprint.
Greg’s critical impact on the culture was singular and unsurpassed. While making those strides, he remained a beloved family man, a gentle giant of Black radical thought and creativity, an invaluable friend, and a generous mentor.
Greg is warmly held in the hearts of his loving daughter, Dr. Chinara Tate; his grandson, Nile Woods; his siblings, Dr. Geri M. Augusto and Brian Tate; his sister-in-law, Dr. Maureen Mahon, and niece, Callie Tate; his nephews, Samori, Nzinga, and Kilamba Augusto, and their beloved spouses, Josie, Julie, and Ariel; his aunts, Lucille Knowles and Cheryl
Cisse; his cousins, Kelley, Richard, Tiere, Tamara, Lynne, and Hank; his grand-nieces and nephews, Elias, Salomé, Tsehaye, and Azuri; his close circle of soul-brothers and sisters; and his countless friends, allies, and