Sad to hear the passing of comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who passed at the age of 84.
The comedian was one of the first Black Entertainers to perform at “white” clubs according to CNN.
CNN highlights that up until 1961, he was relatively unknown, but was requested by Playboy to fill in for another comedian, and once he won the crowd, was offered a 3-year contract.
In addition to all of the comedy, he was a civil rights activist, attending many marches and rallies, and even writing books like ‘Murder In Memphis,’ which took a deep dive into the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
The New York Times highlights what type of delivery that Gregory had while expressing himself comedically, even noting one of his most famous jokes, “We don’t serve colored people here,” and he replied “That’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Just bring me a whole fried chicken.”
Though being put on the pedestal of being the paver of roads for other black comedians, he said in an autobiography (quoted by NYT), “They were going to laugh anyway, but if I made the jokes they’d laugh with me instead of at me.” That kind of mentality is what made Gregory famous.
“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, D.C.,” his son Christian Gregory said via a statement from his father’s rep. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
The Hollywood Reporter had noted that he was recently hospitalized. He leaves behind a wife and several children.
RIP Dick Gregory.