Dick Gregory

Today is the 80th birthday of African American comedian and activist Dick Gregory, instrumental in breaking down the stereotypes that had governed representation of African Americans in comedy before his time. Discovered at a small Chicago night club by Hugh Hefner in 1961, he burst onto the national stage just as the Civil Rights Era was reaching its peak. And he’s been doing the same thing ever since. So much so that I had to wade through scores of contemporary clips before I could find this vintage one:

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