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NET Journal; Dick Gregory is Alive and Well

@ Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive

National Educational Television and Radio Center McCarthy, Harry Moses, Harry Gregory, Dick


Episode Number: 2601 hour piece produced in 1970 by NET. It was originally shot in black and white. The uncompromising satire of Americas best-known black comedian comes to television when NET Journal presents Dick Gregory is Alive and Well. The program is an hour-long view of Gregory, built around an ironic address on racism which he gave before a mixed audience last summer at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. While preparing for that performance Gregory recalls his early days as a comedian when he was just up there to pay my rent, as well as the first years of the civil-rights movement when he began touring college campuses to employ the strength of emerging youth in a struggle against racism. He talks about the fear he felt before an appearance in the South: Id wake the kids and kiss them; Id say goodbye like it could be the last time. And landing at an Alabama airport also brought reminiscences: I used to get buster here as soon as I got off the plane ... 500 state police would be waiting. Much of the address Gregory gave in Tuscaloosa was subsequently recorded in an album titled Dick Gregory: The Light Side, The Dark Side. His attack against racism and what he calls the moral pollution of the country included jibes at American history texts: Were so numb we got nerve enough to teach the Indians that Columbus discovered America. And TV commercials, Im tired of hearing, Marge theres a white...
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