LANDOVER, Md.—Presented by the Reverend Willie Wilson as a hybrid angel sent by God, a cross between the angel Gabriel, a messenger and Michael a warrior, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered the eulogy for ‘Baba’ Dick Gregory. Emanating a warrior’s spirit with a sincere message calling for those in attendance to grow to where Mr. Gregory had, the Minister shared what made the humanitarian, comedian and ‘living legend’ such a special human being during a homegoing service that drew thousands.
The “Celebrating The Life Of A Legend Dick Gregory” tribute held in the spacious and beautiful City of Praise Family Ministries located in Landover, Md. located across the street from Fed Ex Field, home of the National Football League’s Washington team whom Mr. Gregory in solitary with Native Americans battled to change the franchises insulting and racist ‘nickname’ over the years. The celebration took place on September 16.
The six-hour-plus service was put into context by Rev. Wilson during his introduction of Minister Farrakhan when he said, “you can’t have a short celebration for such a tall man.” With the introduction complete, Minister Farrakhan went right to work.
Talking about Mr. Gregory’s multifaceted life and reflecting on the various speakers, he characterized Mr. Gregory as a diamond. Minister Farrakhan opened his eulogy stating the light shined on that diamond, in every direction a different color containing all the colors of the sun. “His heart and mind were always on justice not only for Black people but on all. When Dick was around you better learn to listen,” the Minister explained. “He had us laughing, but he was not a comedian, his jokes filled with wisdom.”
Minister Farrakhan went on to explain that although Mr. Gregory had a Christian and Muslim family, he never joined an organized religion as such. “He was so far beyond dogma and ritual,” the Minister pointed out. “I would love to hear Dick talk about the real God. The universal God. Dick had grown and outgrown the negativity and divisiveness and denominationalism of sectarian religion. So, he wanted us to grow to where he was.”
“When asked one day by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad when he was going to join the Nation he responded I just want to tell jokes and make Black folks glad and White folks mad,” Min. Farrakhan shared.
Dick Gregory could always be found with the common man and the common women, elevating their thinking. Few people operated from his level. He was always with people but yet alone,” he noted.
The astute Minister went on to explain the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught him that in the vastness of space there are black holes that produce new stars. We have stars in the heavens who have died but their light is still traveling, stars of immense beauty. Our brother always kept his eye on the universe. He would say, “and the universe stepped in.”
What did he mean by that Minister Farrakhan asked? “You see the God who created all of this; you cannot pigeonhole him into some mess that you call religion,” he continued.
“We are so immature in our religious expression, favoring one denomination above the other. These are satanic expressions, things that break up the human family and cause the people of God to argue and fight when the reality is we all belong to the oneness of that universal creator.”
Minister Farrakhan went on to explain how organized religion limits you. He explained, “in the Holy Qur’an it teaches if the seas were ink and the trees pens you could never exhaust the wisdom of God. Through the process of life and death, we evolved towards perfection. So, our brother Dick Gregory knew God in his special way.”
In acknowledging Mr. Gregory’s wife Lillian, he characterized her as a helpmeet. “One who helps a man meet the obligation that God has put on him. A man who does not know who he is or where he wants to go does not need a woman. A woman is to help you achieve the goal that God has given you for your life. Lillian was not only his wife, but she helped him to meet the expectation that the creator gave to that man. He wasn’t looking for a purpose; he was born with a purpose.”
Minister Farrakhan then went on to point out God creates all of his creation with aim and purpose. It is only the human being, the greatest of God’s creation that is befuddled. In referencing the impact of White supremacy, he noted Dick Gregory used his gift to lighten our burden.
“Dick Gregory spoke for the living, and he was talking for the dead. Every soul must taste of death. The only way you cannot die is that you were never born,” Min. Farrakhan said. “The moment you come from your mother’s womb, there is a day of destiny. Funerals are not for the dead but for the living, and we want to know what have you done,” he explained.
“Jesus said blessed are the pure in heart they shall see God where ever they look. Every time you look at another human being fashioned in the image and likeness of God you are looking at God. You reverence a church made of stone but when you interact with another human being your language is caustic and nasty. The church was not built by God, but you were,” he stated emphatically.
Min. Farrakhan in his conclusion pointed out the universality of a baby crying. “They don’t cry in Chinese and any mother worldwide understands their need. In the beginning, you speak a universal language, and in the end, you speak a universal language as you give up that last breath of life. But in our life time, we are in a Tower of Babel.”
“Jesus and Muhammad made a universal sound because they aimed to unite the whole of humanity into oneness with God and one community. God is not bugged out by color that’s the sickness of White supremacy. Some of you that hate Black have a black dog, and some of you that hate White have a white dog,” Min. Farrakhan pointed out in describing the madness in the human family.
“You can hug the black dog but can’t hug the man or women. The world is very sick. White supremacy has nothing to do with Jesus.”
In concluding Min. Farrakhan told those in attendance that they have been “taught some narrow mess” in the name of religion. He then pointed out the commonality of all religions that you find when you go to the root of knowledge. In Christianity, they say all are one with Christ. The problem is we are not in him yet. That’s why Dick couldn’t join, the Minister explained. He strives to be one not with religion but one with the universal king.