“Set Race Aside Forever” ~ Celebrating The Loss and Life of a Man Who Meant So Much To Civil Rights and Equality For All People. Dick Gregory…

“Dick Gregory¬†believed that within a well-delivered joke lies power.”

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“Dick Gregory, the pioneering black satirist who transformed cool humor into a barbed force for civil rights in the 1960s, then veered from his craft for a life devoted to protesting and fasting in the name of assorted social causes, health regimens and conspiracy theories, died Saturday in Washington. He was 84.”
~Couresty of The New York Times

“It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, DC. The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time. More details will be released over the next few days”
~ Courtesy of Christian Gregory, Son

Born Richard Claxton Gregory in St. Louis, the Midwest native married his wife, Lillian Smith, in 1959. The couple had 11 children (one of whom died in infancy). His comedy career began in the mid-1950s when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. But after being discharged two years later, Gregory would move to Chicago where he became known among a collective of the up-and-coming black comedians including Nipsey Russell and Bill Cosby.

By 1961, Gregory’s comedy caught the attention of Hugh Hefner who hired him to perform at the Chicago Playboy Club. Often using comedy as a form of social activism, Gregory was a notable voice in the civil rights and black power movements. He also ran for mayor of Chicago in 1967 and launched a presidential bid in 1968 (he ran as a write-in candidate from the Freedom and Peace Party). In 1978, Gregory joined Gloria Steinem and other feminists to lead the National ERA March for Ratification and Extension in Washington D.C.

His¬†extensive resume includes more than a dozen books, hundreds of television appearances, and countless accolades including a¬†star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which he received in 2015. ¬†He is also noted among Comedy Central‚Äôs list of ‚ÄúThe 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.‚ÄĚ

~Courtesy of VIBE Magazine

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20246357_1402195699857659_1969344439509634005_n~(Courtesy of Facebook of Dick Gregory)

I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.” ¬†~Dick Gregory

In 1998 Gregory spoke at the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Clinton were in attendance. Not long after that, the President told Gregory’s long-time friend and PR. Consultant, Steve Jaffe, “I love Dick Gregory, he is one of the funniest people on the planet.” They spoke of how Gregory had made a comment on Dr. King’s birthday that broke everyone into laughter when he noted that the President made Speaker Newt Gingrich ride “in the back of the plane,” on an Air Force One trip overseas. In 2001, Gregory announced to the world that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of Cancer.

He refused traditional medical treatment ‚Äď chemotherapy ‚Äďand with the assistance of some of the finest minds in alternative medicine, put together a regimen of a variety of diet, vitamins, exercise, and modern devices not even known to the public, which ultimately resulted in his reversing the trend of the Cancer to the point where today he was 100% Cancer free.¬†Gregory’s going public with his diagnosis has helped millions of his fans around the world to understand what Cancer specialists have been trying to explain for decades, which is that “Cancer is curable.” Gregory was honored recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., by a sold out house and a tribute hosted by Bill Cosby, with special tributes by Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr., Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes, Cicely Tyson, Mark Lane, Marion Barry and many more.

His most recent book, Callus On My Soul, (Longstreet Press, Atlanta, Ga.) which became a best-seller within weeks of publication, is an autobiography that updates his earlier autobiography (Nigger), because as Dick says, “I’ve lived long enough to need two auto biographies which is fine with me. I’m looking forward to writing the third and fourth volumes as well.”

In 2001, Gregory escaped death once again when a massive tree fell on his car in a storm in Washington D.C. crushing it completely, causing him to have to be extricated from the car by emergency crews. One witness said, “I knew the driver and his passengers had died when I saw the tree fall.” Gregory said, “I knew that God had more work for me to do when I saw the tree falling. ” He saved his own life by driving into the oncoming lanes of traffic. The word of the accident circulated the globe immediately in the media, underscoring the power, influence, and support that Gregory has earned from people of all nations.

Gregory gave the Keynote Address for Black History Month at Bryn Mawr College on February 28, 2013. His takeaway message to the students was to never accept injustice.

 

Once I accept injustice, I become injustice. For example, paper mills give off a terrible stench. But the people who work there don’t smell it. Remember, Dr. King was assassinated when he went to work for¬†garbage collectors. To help them as workers to enforce their rights. They couldn’t smell the stench of the garbage all around them anymore. They were used to it. They would eat their lunch out of a brown bag sitting on the garbage truck. One day, a worker was sitting inside the back of the truck on top of the garbage, and got crushed to death because no one knew he was there


Doctor’s at George Washington Hospital refused to release Gregory for a few days causing his first-ever “State of the Union Address” to African Americans to be delayed by a month. Gregory gave the first “State Of The Union” address live on the Internet from Los Angeles on April 21st. Now the Internet address is the latest offering on a 3 CD set. Dick Gregory 21st Century “State Of The Union”
~Legacy Courtesy of  Dick Gregory Official Website.

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¬† ¬† ¬†“May You Rest In Peace and The In The Arms of Our Lord Above”

 

Dick Gregory and Martin Luther King, Jr.


Lyon Book Promotions Welcomes Author, Andrew Branham & His New Book Release, A Memoir. . .

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I Welcome Author, Andrew Branham and his new book, a memoir titled; Anything For Amelia.

I am very honored to have Andrew Branham as part of the Lyon Book Promotions family of fine authors. I also celebrate the fact that his book is my very first LGBT Book and Author to promote for.  And his memoir is not only getting rave reviews on Amazon, but it just became The #1 New ‪#‎LGBT‬ Memoir on Amazon! He bravely shares his true story of his adoption process and journey when he and his partner, DJ wanted to start a family and adopt their sweet baby girl, Amelia.  So here is more about his book and more about the author himself. . .

Hot New Releases in Gay & Lesbian Biographies & Memoirs!

 

#1.
Anything For Amelia: A true story of...
Release Date: September 3, 2015
Kindle Edition

About The Memoir:
A true story of the challenges endured by two gay men who had the desire to adopt a child.

When Andrew and DJ decided to adopt and bring a child into their lives, little did they know what they were about to endure; yet never did the thought cross their minds to give up. The horrific, pitilessly, and beyond comprehensible hoops one woman would make them jump through demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that little Amelia was going to be much better off in the loving home that Drew and DJ could provide her. Just when you think, how can two people survive such a nightmare and the journey is just about over when little Amelia is born and will be safely in the arms of her loving dads, Sandi decides to pull one more shenanigan that could change their lives forever. . .

Fact:
More than 10 million adults have been adopted or fostered in their childhood. Along with spiraling increases in adoptions comes a growing need to disclose the significant flaws in adoption laws that open the doors to fraud, manipulation, and abuse of the system. “

AMELIA¬†is the first book to explore this dark side of the adoption process through the true story of one couple’s journey through hell. Called “the most difficult adoption in U.S. history” by adoption experts, the book appeals to nearly all families (traditional and non-traditional) interested in adoption, foster parenting, or surrogacy.

 

 

About Andrew Branham:


(Andrew, DJ, and Amelia)

 

Andrew C. Branham was born in the culturally rich town of Lorain, Ohio Рa few miles West of Cleveland and on the shores of Lake Erie. He is the son of two educators and has an older sister that lives in Michigan.

Andrew attended Lorain High School and then proceeded to get his bachelors degree from Bowling Green State University. He majored in environmental science with a minor in business administration. He graduated at the top of his class and earned a cum laude degree.  He is a business professional and works as VP/Senior Director Customer Marketing at Dawn Food Products. Here is a bit more of his professional life.

“I specialize in building best-in-class, high-performing category development, sales and shopper marketing departments (including building from the ground-up and reorganization for optimal performance and profit).¬† High-caliber, seasoned and passionate sales/marketing professional with expertise in internal/external sales, category management, sales leadership, national account leadership, trade marketing, category development, customer marketing, shopper marketing. I have 16+ years of progressive experience with increasing responsibility at top CPG organizations.”

Upon graduation, Andrew entered the business world working for a major food company. He quickly climbed the corporate ladder and was soon promoted. As his career continued to flourish, he relocated to different cities 12 times (all over the United States). Today, Andrew is an executive working for a food company out of Jackson, Michigan. He is married to his long-time partner and they have one daughter.  In his spare time, Andrew enjoys family, cultural dining, reading, writing, Cleveland sports, and exotic travel. He has traveled all over the world to experience other cultures and religions. His favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Oman, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Italy, and Bora Bora. One interesting fact about Andrew is that he once inherited a truffle farm in Froslone, Italy (of which he has since sold).

Andrew was inspired to write his first book, Anything for Amelia after he went through what many industry experts deemed ‘the most difficult adoption in U.S. history’. During his 206 day ordeal he kept a daily journal from which the book is based. It is the first memoir that explores the true dark side of the adoption world. His book has earned high praise from critics that appreciated the ‘dark subject matter’ and candid tone.

Andrew is a large supporter of gay rights, human rights, adoption, and foster care. 20% of his profits from the book are being donated to the foster care system. He also financially supports an orphanage in Thailand.  Andrew is currently working on his first fiction novel which is due to be released in early 2016.
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Now as many of my readers know, I only ask a couple of questions of all my Featured Guest Authors, so we can get to know a wee bit more about them.  So here are the questions I asked of Andrew, and what he wanted to share with all my readers. . . .
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Andrew Branham

 

1.) How did you become a writer?
I have always had a passion for writing and find it as a great way to relieve stress. I wrote my first book when I was 25 years old however I never did anything with it. For most of my adult life, I have been very active in writing Op-eds for major newspapers around the country. For the most part they were political columns but I have also done some LGBT and business writing. Recently, I have contributed several business articles to Linked In. Writing has always come naturally to me and it has just become part of my everyday life.”
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2.) What made you decide to Share Your Adoption process in Book Form?
“My partner and I went through what industry experts called “the most difficult adoption in U.S. history.” For 206 days we were abused, manipulated, and¬†tortured¬†by a very unstable birth mother. We were both under¬†enormous¬†levels of stress everyday. It got so intense that it became nearly impossible for us to sleep or even have a normal life. One night while we were visiting the birth mother in Arizona our stress levels became unmanageable and we were about to lose control. I became so tired of keeping all my feelings bottled up and I started to write everything down in a journal. I wrote for hours without stopping.
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When I was done I felt like a new person and all the stress was lifted from me. From that day forward, I started keeping a journal with the hope that I would compile it all into a book.Our story was so extreme that I wanted the world to know about what happened to us. I wanted other couples who were hoping to adopt to learn from our mistakes. The ‘business of adoption’ is a taboo subject that most authors are afraid to discuss. There is a true dark side to the adoption process that everyone seemed to want to sweep under the rug. I wanted the world to know that while most adoptions are smooth and most birth mothers are wonderful people – there was abuse going on in the system. Our birth mother made a career of ‘selling infants’ and using couples who were blinded by the promise of a baby. I felt that our story needed to be told so that others did not fall into this trap. I wanted others to see the warning signs and do their homework before making any final decisions about their adoption. I also wanted to use some of the profits from my book to donate to the foster care system.”

3.) What should readers know about you personally and as an author?
“As a person and an author I am very blunt and transparent. My writing is usually bold and candid. I try to state things like they are without ‘beating around the bush’. I am very passionate about writing and I hope to have a long career writing books. I am from a large and very tight Italian family and that is where my values are rooted. Family is very important to me and that is why I was never going to let being born gay stop me from having the family I always dreamed of. Nothing was going to stop me from this dream….not even this birth mother. I am married to my long-time partner DJ and we have a beautiful little girl, Amelia. She is the light of our lives and she always makes us smile and laugh.
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We both adore being parents and it has made our lives whole. I am a big advocate of human rights and gay rights and I fight that battle nearly every day through writing. I am also a supporter of the foster care system and adoption in general. Since 2006 I have¬†financially¬†supported¬†an orphanage in Thailand. In our spare time we love to travel to exotic locations that involve nature. Recently, we purchased a new home in Michigan that has 31 acres of¬†pristine nature reserve. We hope to adopt another child in the next few years. Lastly, I am in the process of finishing my first fiction novel which should be ready in 2016.”

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Come connect with Author, Andrew Branham on social media, and I urge your to give his amazing website a visit as well.
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Purchase His Memoir on Amazon: Anything For Amelia on Amazon
Author Website: Anything For Amelia
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