The Satya Interview: A Word with Dick Gregory

By Rynn Berry

Article Reprintgregory

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Dick Gregory has been a humorist and social activist for over 30 years. In the mid-1960s, he scored his first triumph as a comedian, satirizing race relations before frozen food executives from the Deep South at the Chicago Playboy Club. It was the first time that a Black comedian had dared to defy the convention that race-relations was a taboo subject for humor in big-time night clubs. A protégé and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Gregory continues the legacy of non-violence. He protested the Vietnam War by fasting for two years on fruit juice. During the fast he got many letters from school children saying that they were praying for the war to end so that Gregory could eat solid food again, rather than uncooked fruit! Gregory and his wife Lilian have raised their 10 children as fruitarians. None has ever tasted — or has expressed any desire to taste — cooked food.

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