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The One and Only Dick Gregory

Two Cent Film Review: “The One and Only Dick Gregory”
Dick Gregory had that rare ability to take on heavy political topics, and make them funny. Most people can’t do it, even successful comedians (although I suspect that the few who can, choose not to for popularity reasons). What would our world look like if other legendary comedians were to channel their immense talents and platforms to be champions for social justice (e.g., Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, David Letterman)? Just knowing that these folks have never gone there, for what could amount to career suicide, makes me appreciate Dick Gregory even more. But Dick Gregory was more than a comedian, he was also a Civil Rights activist who worked with many leaders of his era, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Medgar Evers (he was arrested over 100 times, incarcerated, and even shot in the leg). Mr. Gregory also fought and ran, sometimes across huge chunks of the US itself, to raise awareness and support for the poor, hungry, and disenfranchised. And let’s not forget, he was also an outspoken vegan long before most people had even heard of the word, and an animal rights activist too. Phew, and wow. 🙂

I knew very little about Dick Gregory except for his animal welfare work and vegan advocacy. This film, “The One and Only Dick Gregory”, is eye opening, inspiring, and of course, funny at times too. The doc also tries to be honest about Dick Gregory the person, and reminds us that we are all flawed, even when our dreams and passions may not be. The one nitpick that I have is that the film doesn’t seem to pay enough attention to Mr. Gregory’s ahead of the curve passion for plant-based nutrition and animal rights (it also fails to point out the inherent shortcomings of “powdered formulas” as dietary cure-alls). 
Overall however, this is a terrific documentary.
Here are a few Dick Gregory quotes and a link to the trailer:

“Because I’m a civil rights activist, I am also an animal rights activist. 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. We don’t have to be a part of it.”

“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.”
“I wouldn’t mind paying taxes – if I knew they were going to a friendly country.”

“It’s cool to be healthy.”

Two Cent Film Review bottom line? Highly Recommended!
In the documentary, Harry Belafonte shares his love for Dick Gregory and refers to him as “My Man”. I love that, and after watching this film, it was pretty clear that Dick Gregory was indeed “The Man”.  🙂  
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