Ebooks

NAACP 2017 Image Award Winner

With his trademark acerbic wit, incisive humor, and infectious paranoia, one of our foremost comedians and most politically engaged civil rights activists looks back at 100 key events from the complicated history of black America.

A friend of luminaries including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers, and the forebear of today’s popular black comics, including Larry Wilmore, W. Kamau Bell, Damon Young, and Trevor Noah, Dick Gregory was a provocative and incisive cultural force for more than fifty years. As an entertainer, he always kept it indisputably real about race issues in America, fearlessly lacing laughter with hard truths. As a leading activist against injustice, he marched at Selma during the Civil Rights movement, organized student rallies to protest the Vietnam War; sat in at rallies for Native American and feminist rights; fought apartheid in South Africa; and participated in hunger strikes in support of Black Lives Matter.

In this collection of thoughtful, provocative essays, Gregory charts the complex and often obscured history of the African American experience. In his unapologetically candid voice, he moves from African ancestry and surviving the Middle Passage to the enjoyment of bacon and everything pig, the headline-making shootings of black men, and the Black Lives Matter movement. A captivating journey through time, Defining Moments in Black History explores historical movements such as The Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance, as well as cultural touchstones such as Sidney Poitier winning the Best Actor Oscar for Lilies in the Field and Billie Holiday releasing Strange Fruit.

An engaging look at black life that offers insightful commentary on the intricate history of the African American people, Defining Moments in Black History is an essential, no-holds-bar history lesson that will provoke, enlighten, and entertain.

A unique and timeless guide to American government and its electoral process—as relevant today as when it was first published in 1972—from the voice of black consciousness, cultural icon Dick Gregory, the incomparable satirist, human rights and environmental activist, health advocate, social justice champion, and author of the NAACP Image Award–winning Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies and the classic bestseller Nigger: An Autobiography.

For most of his life, Richard Claxton “Dick” Gregory worked to educate Americans about the issues—and the forces of power—shaping their lives. A brilliant and informed student of the American experiment, he viewed and understood politics with an acuity few possess. Nearly fifty years ago, on the eve of Richard M. Nixon’s reelection, he wrote a classic guide to the American political system for ordinary folks. Today, when American democracy is threatened, his primer is more necessary than ever before. 

In Dick Gregory’s Political Primer, Gregory presents a series of lessons accompanied by review questions to educate and empower every citizen. He provides amusing, concise, and clear information and commentary on the nature of political parties, the three branches of government and how they operate, how the campaign process works and the costs, and more. Gregory offers imaginative comparisons such as the Hueys—Long, the populist Louisiana governor and Newton, the cofounder of the Black Panthers—and numerological parallels between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. He also includes a trenchant glossary that offers insights into some of the major players, terms, and institutions integral to our democracy and government. 

An essential guide to American history unlike any other, Dick Gregory’s Political Primer joins the ranks of classics such as Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, and is essential reading for every American.

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