News release from IPFW:
Political Activist and Comedian Dick Gregory Speaks at IPFW Tonight
(February 4, 2016) â€” Legendary political activist and comedian Dick Gregory will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 4, in the International Ballroom at Walb Union as part of the university’s celebration of Black History Month.
The event is free and open to the public.
A native of St. Louis, Gregory, 83, began his career as a comedian while serving in the U.S. Army, later moving to Chicago to perform professionally. As his fame grew, he became one of the first black comedians to perform for white audiences, part of a new generation of black comedians who rejected the traditional role of black performers playing stereotypical characters in favor of more politically-charged humor focusing on civil rights.
In 1961, Gregory became the first black comedian to both perform and be interviewed by the host of The Tonight Show Starring Jack Paar, touching off a national conversation about racial relations in the United States.
Active in the Civil Rights movement, including the 1963 march on Selma, Ala., Gregory has long used his fame to promote political causes, including opposition to the war in Vietnam, economic reform, women’s rights, anti-drug issues, and other causes. He remains an outspoken activist today.
Gregory’s speech is sponsored by IPFW, the Fort Wayne Urban League, and Parkview Health.