"Nigger: An Autobiography by Dick Gregory" Book Review

Written by Shyah Shaday


Keeping Up Book Recommendations


Who:
Comedian and Social Activist, Dick Gregory


What:

"Nigger: An Autobiography by Dick Gregory" takes you through the life of Dick Gregory. Born in 1932 he grew up in St. Louis to a family he considered "Not Poor, Just Broke". His mother traveled across town to take care of white children while his Dad was overall a no-show. The eldest of his siblings Dick Gregory started to shine shoes to make extra money for his family.

The color line was thick in the South as Dick Gregory was growing up and he experienced it first hand. He had the choice to defeat or be defeated and in every situation he chose to defeat. From getting kicked in the mouth by a white man who didn’t want "no color boy shining his shoes" to being teased in school and chastised for his skin color, Dick Gregory always managed to turn a negative to a positive.

To ease the pain he would make jokes on himself and his family before giving anyone else the satisfaction, before long he was getting paid to stand on stages across America and make people laugh.


Why:

In honor of Black History Month and during a time where the usage of the "N-word "is so highly debated this book is a must-read. While Dick Gregory’s story isn’t as widely popular as Martin Luther King, Jr. or Malcolm X, he too was on the battlefield fighting for equality. He spent time in Birmingham Jails, Marched with Medgar Evers and helped pave the way for African-Americans today. Written during the American Civil Rights Movement, Gregory worked hard to drain all of the hatred and negativity out of the word "Nigger" that was used to defame and demoralize our people.


"Dear Momma- Wherever you are, if ever you hear the word "nigger" again, remember they are advertising my book" –Dick Gregory

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