Civil Rights Activist, Soldier and Comedian Passed Away at 94

Civil Rights Activist, Soldier and Comedian Passed Away at 94

Very few people are lucky enough to have as much success in their lives as Dick Gregory has had. He began his comedy career during the 1950s while he was still in the military and shattered color barriers that were still in place at the time.

He was one of a very few people who could make political jokes about the plight of the black race and make them funny to everyone, not just a select group of people. That is an art that has become lost in the heated rhetoric of the day.

He once joked about racial segregation, saying, “Segregation isn’t all bad. Have you ever heard of a collision where the people in the back of the bus got hurt?”

Gregory was the first black performer to be invited to a white club in 1961 and Hugh Hefner gave him a regular gig at the Playboy Mansion. He was an absolute hit despite his unpopular skin color.

During the 60s, he became a prominent civil rights leader and even ended up in the slammer for his beliefs.

He was recently hospitalized for a serious condition and passed away at the age of 94.

This man was truly discriminated against for his skin color and not only managed to refrain from throwing containers full of urine at police and pulling down monuments, but he was funny about it. He turned his oppression into humor that united both races in laughter. He broke racial barriers through his comedy, not by becoming violent and harming people in the streets.

I’m glad that I got to call Gregory a fellow countryman and I think a lot of my generation could learn from the examples he set both in comedy and in activism.

If you’re the praying type, please say a quick prayer for his family and friends who will need comfort in this difficult time.


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