Dick Gregory

American comedian, social activist, social critic, writer, and entrepreneur (1932–2017)

Richard Claxton "Dick" Gregory (October 12, 1932August 19, 2017) was an American civil rights activist, social critic, writer, and comedian.

I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.

Quotes edit

  • I have experienced personally over the past few years how a purity of diet and thought are interrelated. And when Americans become truly concerned with the purity of the food that enters their own personal systems, when they learn to eat properly, we can expect to see profound changes effected in the social and political system of this nation. The two systems are inseparable.
    • Dick Gregory's Political Primer (Harper & Row, 1972), p. 262.

Nigger: An Autobiography (1964) edit

  • I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.
  • When you have a good mother and no father, God kind of sits in. It's not enough, but it helps.
  • Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant, and this white waitress came up to me and said: “We don’t serve colored people here.” I said: “That’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.”

Dick Gregory's Natural Diet For Folks Who Eat (1973) edit

Dick Gregory's Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin' with Mother Nature, edited by James R. McGraw with Alvenia M. Fulton (New York: Harper & Row, 1973)
  • The philosophy of nonviolence, which I learned from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during my involvement in the civil rights movement was first responsible for my change in diet. I became a vegetarian in 1965. … Under the leadership of Dr. King I became totally committed to nonviolence, and I was convinced that nonviolence meant opposition to killing in any form. I felt the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” applied to human beings not only in their dealings with each other—war, lynching, assassination, murder and the like—but in their practice of killing animals for food or sport. Animals and humans suffer and die alike. Violence causes the same pain, the same spilling of blood, the same stench of death, the same arrogant, cruel and brutal taking of life.
    • pp. 15-16
  • I personally would say that the quickest way to wipe out a group of people is to put them on a soul food diet. One of the tragedies is that the very folks in the black community who are most sophisticated in terms of the political realities in this country are nonetheless advocates of “soul food.” They will lay down a heavy rap on genocide in America with regard to black folks, then walk into a soul food restaurant and help the genocide along.
    • p. 81

Quotes about Dick Gregory edit

  • On October 5, Dick Gregory came to Selma. His wife, Lillian, had been jailed in Selma while demonstrating. He spoke to a crowded church meeting that evening. It was an incredible performance. With armed deputies ringing the church outside, and three local officials sitting in the audience taking notes, Gregory lashed out at white Southern society with a steely wit and a passion that sent his Negro listeners into delighted applause again and again. Never in the history of this area had a black man stood like this on a public platform, ridiculing and denouncing white officials to their faces. It was a historic coming of age for Selma, Alabama. It was also something of a miracle that Gregory was able to leave town alive. The local newspaper said that a "wildly applauding crowd" listened that night to "the most scathing attack unleashed here in current racial demonstrations." Gregory told the audience that the Southern white man had nothing he could call his own, no real identity, except "segregated drinking fountains, segregated toilets, and the right to call me nigger." He added, "And when the white man is threatened with losing his toilet, he's ready to kill!" He wished, Gregory said, that the whole Negro race would disappear overnight. "They would go crazy looking for us!" The crowd roared and applauded. Gregory lowered his voice, and he was suddenly serious: "But it looks like we got to do it the hard way, and stay down here, and educate them." He called the Southern police officials "peons, the idiots who do all the dirty work, the dogs who do all the biting." He went on for over two hours in that vein; essentially it was a lesson in economics and sociology, streaked with humor. "The white man starts all the wars, then he talks about cuttin' somebody.... They talk about our education. But the most important thing is to teach people how to live...."
  • As Dick Gregory has said, any other group of people in the world who would take arms and rise up against the tyranny of their government would be hailed as "Freedom Fighters." But Negroes are expected to adhere to nonviolence.

External links edit

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