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Dick Gregory: Legendary Comedian & Civil Rights Activist Passes Away at 84

Dick Gregory was hugely inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, the leading civil activists of the century

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Dick Gregory
America's legendary comedian Dick Gregory. Wikimedia
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  • Dick Gregory has passed away due to a heart attack at the age of 84
  • Gregory was known for his prolific stand-up comedy
  • He used his stage success to voice his anti-racist and anti-war stance

August 20, 2017: Dick Gregory became a popular name in the 1960s as a black comedian who was breaking down racial barriers in the United States.

On Saturday, the famous comedian and civil rights activist died in a Washington DC hospital aged 84. The legend’s death was announced by his son on social media and to the press through the comedian’s representative. Gregory was admitted to the hospital a week before due to bacterial infection, mentioned ANI.

Also Read: World Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Eight inspirational quotes from the champion of civil rights

Dick Gregory was brought up in a poor household that resided in St. Louis. However, he went on to become one of the first black comedians to be loved by a white audience. Further, the legendary comedian used this success and fame to voice concerns over racism and wars.

He received his first major break in 1961 when he got the opportunity to perform at the Playboy Club in Chicago. Although heckled by the audience, Dick Gregory maintained his calmness and went on to perform for hours. This was really a one-night performance for him, however, his great stand up won him two more months at the club.

This further led to his interview with Time Magazine as well as The Tonight Show.

Gregory’s talent led him to be equated with the that of Fred Allen and Will Rogers by the Vogue Magazine in 1962.

His sharp mind coupled with his popularity made him pursue political and civil rights activism. Gregory used his popular image to champion anti-racial movements.

The comedian advocated for feminism and anti-racism. He hoisted voice against the Americans going for war outside their nation’. He was beaten and bruised at social movements and protests.

In 1966, he sought for political office by running for Mayor of Chicago, but his campaign was largely unsuccessful.

Two years later in 1968, he ran for the US Presidency from Peace and Freedom Party. With 200,000 votes, Gregory lost.

Dick Gregory was hugely inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, the leading civil activists of the century.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


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Women Are Rarely “Put Front And Center” At The Heart Of Climate Action

Feminism doesn't mean excluding men

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Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017.
Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017. VOA

Women must be at the heart of climate action if the world is to limit the deadly impact of disasters such as floods, former Irish president and U.N. rights commissioner Mary Robinson said on Monday.

Robinson, also a former U.N. climate envoy, said women were most adversely affected by disasters and yet are rarely “put front and center” of efforts to protect the most vulnerable.

“Climate change is a man-made problem and must have a feminist solution,” she said at a meeting of climate experts at London’s Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship.

“Feminism doesn’t mean excluding men, it’s about being more inclusive of women and – in this case – acknowledging the role they can play in tackling climate change.”

Research has shown that women’s vulnerabilities are exposed during the chaos of cyclones, earthquakes and floods, according to the British think-tank Overseas Development Institute.

In many developing countries, for example, women are involved in food production, but are not allowed to manage the cash earned by selling their crops, said Robinson.

Earth depletion
Earth depletion, Pixabay

The lack of access to financial resources can hamper their ability to cope with extreme weather, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the event.

“Women all over the world are … on the front lines of the fall-out from climate change and therefore on the forefront of climate action,” said Natalie Samarasinghe, executive director of Britain’s United Nations Association.

“What we — the international community — need to do is talk to them, learn from them and support them in scaling up what they know works best in their communities,” she said at the meeting.

Also read: Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wines

Robinson served as Irish president from 1990-1997 before taking over as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and now leads a foundation devoted to climate justice. (VOA)