Dick Gregory, best know for his triple threat of being a comedian, and author, and for his activism. He used his humor to acknowledge the extensive racial discrimination in America.
Gregory made sure we could remember to laugh in hopes to keep us from crying. His jokes pointed out the reality of so many sensitive issues that America goes through, no matter what it meant for his comedic career.
“… when I got involved in the Civil Rights movement… I made a deal with my wife that I would never make a decision based on how will this affect my career.”
– Dick Gregory
Enjoy some quotes that deal with race, police brutality and other issues that still apply today.
1. “I am so sick and tired of seeing a black person shot in the back, shot dead, followed by people saying, ‘Not all cops are bad.'” – Dick GregorySource:Getty
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JULY 21: Comedian and Social Activist Dick Gregory speaks onstage at the Independent Lens ‘Soul Food Junkies’ panel during day 1 of the PBS portion of the 2012 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) celebrities,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,television show,california,hold,panel,talking,comedian,beverly hills,the beverly hilton hotel,summer television critics association press tour,portion,day 1,pbs,dick gregory,independent lens,soul food junkies
2. “The only good thing about the good old days is they’re gone.” – Dick GregorySource:Getty
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 3: Comedian and activist Dick Gregory speaks to a capacity crowd of 1,500 at Jordan Hall in Boston on Oct. 3, 1971, urging them to boycott turkeys during the holiday season to encourage farmers to join the peace movement. (Photo by Don Preston/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) vertical,photography,people,usa,motion,talking,connection,1970-1979,boston – massachusetts,comedian,activist,archival,crowd,social issues,demanding,massachusetts,encouragement,farmer,boycott,dick gregory – activist
3. “When you have a good mother and no father, God kind of sits in. It’s not enough, but it helps.” – Dick GregorySource:Getty
Unspecified – 1972: Dick Gregory appearing on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images tv series ‘Comedy News’. (Photo by Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images) vertical,photography,celebrities,arts culture and entertainment,usa,television show,1970-1979,archival,disney,appearance,getty images,dick gregory – activist
4. “Humor can no more find the solution to race problems than it can cure cancer…” – Dick GregorySource:Getty
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 19: Dick Gregory attend ‘Turn Me Loose’ opening night at The Westside Theatre on May 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage) photography,celebrities,arts culture and entertainment,attending,horizontal,usa,new york city,waist up,portrait,theatrical performance,premiere,dick gregory – activist
5. “I was more interested in how my career could help the movement.” – Dick GregorySource:Getty
ATLANTA JANUARY 01: Dick Gregory, Coretta Scott King and Harry Belafonte backstage during M.L.K Gala at The Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta Georgia, January 01, 1982 (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images photography,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,birthday,usa,music,1980-1989,black and white,award,gala,archival,coretta scott king,three quarter length,georgia – us state,backstage,celebration event,boisfeuillet jones atlanta civic center,local government building,getty images,small group of people,harry belafonte,dick gregory – activist,atlanta – georgia
6. “They were going to laugh anyway, but if I made the jokes they’d laugh with me instead of at me…” – Dick GregorySource:Getty
UNITED STATES -June 22: Comedian Dick Gregory performing stand-up in 1970. (Photo by Dennis Caruso/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images) vertical,photography,usa,performance,1970-1979,politics,comedian,archival,june,politics and government,dick gregory – activist
7. “Poor is a state of mind you never grow out of, but being broke is just a temporary condition.” – Dick GregorySource:Getty
View of American comedian and activist Dick Gregory (1932 – 2017) as he speaks during the Continental Walk Rally in Union Square, San Francisco, California, January 1976. (Photo by Janet Fries/Getty Images) microphone,photography,people,full length,one person,horizontal,usa,california,talking,civil rights,african-american ethnicity,males,north america,1970-1979,politics,comedian,black and white,activist,archival,beard,incidental people,human interest,san francisco – california,audio equipment,political rally,facial hair,politics and government,public speaker,union square – san francisco,dick gregory – activist,social justice – concept
8. Love is very dangerous if you just have love and don’t have the ability to be lovable.” – Dick GregorySource:Getty
Civil rights activist Dick Gregory, was the nutritionist to Michael Jackson during his recent trial in Santa Maria County, California. (Photo by Neville Elder/Corbis via Getty Images) photography,people,one person,horizontal,california,washington dc,activist,archival,social issues,politics and government,nutritionist,human rights,dick gregory – activist
9. “I’m non-violent, but I’m damned if I’ll preach non-violence to a man whose five-year-old daughter has got her head busted open by a brick.” – Dick Gregory.Source:Getty
PLYMOUTH, MA – APRIL 30: Comedian and activist Dick Gregory poses for a portrait in Plymouth, MA on Apr. 30, 1992. (Photo by Janet Knott/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) photography,horizontal,usa,portrait,1990-1999,comedian,activist,social issues,massachusetts,dick gregory – activist,plymouth – massachusetts