Legendary Comedian And Civil Rights Activist, Dick Gregory, Dies At 84
By:     -   August 21, 2017   -   Culture  -  Education  -  News Break   -   Comments are closed   -   636 Views
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The world has lost a legend. Comedian and civil rights activist, Dick Gregory, has died at the age of 84. His family (via his son Christian Gregory) made the announcement via his official Facebook page:

“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.”

There have been reports of Gregory’s health declining following a severe bacterial infection, however the exact cause of death is unknown at this time.

In the early 1960s, Gregory gained notoriety as the first Black comedian to appeal to both white and black audiences. He broke many barriers in his television and stand-up roles, which eventually paved the way for the comedians that would follow suit. Additionally, he was an instrumental figure within the civil rights movement. He attended the historic March on Washington in 1963, and even pushed to integrate a segregated Mississippi restaurant prior to the march.

“We tried to integrate a restaurant, and they said, `We don’t serve colored folk here,’ and I said, `Well, I don’t eat colored folk nowhere. Bring me some pork chops.’ And then Ku Klux Klan come in, and the woman say, `We don’t have no pork chops,’ so I say, `Well, bring me a whole fried chicken.’ And then the Klan walked up to me when they put that whole fried chicken in front of me, and they say, `Whatever you do to that chicken, boy, we’re going to do to you.’ So I opened up its legs and kissed it in the rump and tell you all, `Be my guest.’ ” – Dick Gregory

 

He was unashamed to speak out on race relations and police brutality. In fact, he went on a hunger strike in 2000 to protest police brutality. He ran for mayor of Chicago in 1967, and then for president in 1968 under the Freedom and Peace Party.

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Gregory had been married for over 50 years and fathered 10 children. His daughter, Ayanna Gregory, describes human rights as “his life”. He was recently honored with his portrait on the mural at Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C., alongside other iconic figures in the Black community, including the late and beloved media anchor, Jim Vance.

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