Dick Gregory

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I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.

Richard Claxton "Dick" Gregory (October 12, 1932August 19, 2017) was an American civil rights activist, social critic, writer, and comedian.


  • I have experienced personally over the past few years how a purity of diet and thought are interrelated. And when Americans become truly concerned with the purity of the food that enters their own personal systems, when they learn to eat properly, we can expect to see profound changes effected in the social and political system of this nation. The two systems are inseparable.
    • Dick Gregory's Political Primer (Harper & Row, 1972), p. 262.

Nigger: An Autobiography (1964)[edit]

  • I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.
  • When you have a good mother and no father, God kind of sits in. It's not enough, but it helps.
  • Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant, and this white waitress came up to me and said: “We don’t serve colored people here.” I said: “That’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.”

Dick Gregory's Natural Diet For Folks Who Eat (1973)[edit]

Dick Gregory's Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin' with Mother Nature, edited by James R. McGraw with Alvenia M. Fulton (New York: Harper & Row, 1973)
  • The philosophy of nonviolence, which I learned from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during my involvement in the civil rights movement was first responsible for my change in diet. I became a vegetarian in 1965. … Under the leadership of Dr. King I became totally committed to nonviolence, and I was convinced that nonviolence meant opposition to killing in any form. I felt the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” applied to human beings not only in their dealings with each other—war, lynching, assassination, murder and the like—but in their practice of killing animals for food or sport. Animals and humans suffer and die alike. Violence causes the same pain, the same spilling of blood, the same stench of death, the same arrogant, cruel and brutal taking of life.
    • pp. 15-16
  • I personally would say that the quickest way to wipe out a group of people is to put them on a soul food diet. One of the tragedies is that the very folks in the black community who are most sophisticated in terms of the political realities in this country are nonetheless advocates of “soul food.” They will lay down a heavy rap on genocide in America with regard to black folks, then walk into a soul food restaurant and help the genocide along.
    • p. 81

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