The Comedian as Activist: Remembering Dick Gregory

For Dick Gregory, American racism was a senseless fact of life: “I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.”

Dick Gregory changed my life. No, I never met him, and I saw him on stage just one time. No, I was not a fan in the usual way of following a public figure’s career over decades. It happened like this.

I grew up on the white side of Stockton, the Central Valley town 50 miles east of San Francisco, which everyone referred to as The City, and...

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