I had the pleasure of meeting Dick Gregory while I was a student at the University of Connecticut, and I’ll never forget him for a two reasons: 1. He said nigga so freely and loudly, I thought I might start using the word more freely and loudly myself. In front of white folks, too! I was tickled. 2. He schooled me on the “Paper Brown” Test when I thought to challenge him on an issue related to colorism, and he shut my naive a$$ down good and proper.
His family posted this about his passing via Instagram 30 minutes ago:
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 – Christian Gregory
I think it’s best to remember Dick Gregory at his best. See one of his most recent stand up routine’s here:
According to Wikipedia:
Richard Claxton “Dick” Gregory (born October 12, 1932 – August 19, 2017) was an American civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, comedian, conspiracy theorist and occasional actor.
Gregory was a student who excelled at running, and was aided by teachers at Sumner High School, among them Warren St. James. Gregory earned a track scholarship to Southern Illinois University Carbondale. There he set school records as a half-miler and miler. His college career was interrupted for two years in 1954 when he was drafted into the United States Army. The Army was where he got his start in comedy, entering and winning several Army talent shows at the urging of his commanding officer, who had taken notice of Gregory’s penchant for joking. In 1956, Gregory briefly returned to SIU after his discharge, but dropped out because he felt that the university “didn’t want me to study, they wanted me to run.”
In the hopes of performing comedy professionally, Gregory moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he became part of a new generation of black comedians that included Nipsey Russell, Bill Cosby, and Godfrey Cambridge, all of whom broke with the minstrel tradition that presented stereotypical black characters.
Gregory was also an avid nutritionist. He was diganosed with cancer in, but rather than go through chemo and/or radiation, he went on an all-natural diet, and subsequently declared himself free of Cancer.
Click HERE to read more about Dick Gregory and his career as a social activist and comedian.
Rest in Power, Mr. Gregory.