NET Journal
Episode Number
Dick Gregory Is Alive and Well
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
1 hour piece produced in 1970 by NET. It was originally shot in black and white.
Episode Description
The uncompromising satire of America's best-known black comedian comes to television when NET Journal presents "Dick Gregory is Alive and Well." The program is an hour-long view of Gregory, built around an ironic address on racism which he gave before a mixed audience last summer at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. While preparing for that performance Gregory recalls his early days as a comedian when he was "just up there to pay my rent," as well as the first years of the civil-rights movement when he began touring college campuses to employ "the strength of emerging youth" in a struggle against racism. He talks about the fear he felt before an appearance in the South: "I'd wake the kids and kiss them; I'd say goodbye like it could be the last time." And landing at an Alabama airport also brought reminiscences: "I used to get buster here as soon as I got off the plane ... 500 state police would be waiting." Much of the address Gregory gave in Tuscaloosa was subsequently recorded in an album titled "Dick Gregory: The Light Side, The Dark Side." His attack against racism and what he calls the moral pollution of the country included jibes at American history texts: "We're so numb we got nerve enough to teach the Indians that Columbus discovered America." And TV commercials, "I'm tired of hearing, Marge there's a white dove in your kitchen. How about hearing, Beulah, baby, there's a black crow on the biscuits." And to Northern liberal students he says: "Before you come down here and alienate your Southern racist brothers, take a black kid home with you and bug your mommy and daddy." Gregory hits constantly at a white society that shuts black people out and yet expects them to conform to its rules. In this vein he explains why the past year's "riot season" was so quite: "We got tired of stealing those bad products. This year we went underground to study the consumer reports. So this season when the riot season opens again we ain't gonna be stealing no Motorolas." On the subject of "Negro" versus "black" Gregory says: "Call us whatever you want, but it's safer for you to call us black." When other nationalities came to America they retained their identities, he says, but when Africans were brought here they became Negro or colored. "Don't play games with us, play games with yourself," he advises. "Call yourself clear folks." NET Journal -- "Dick Gregory is Alive and Well" is an NET production. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Episode Description
This record is part of the Comedy section of the Souls of Black Identity special collection.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Event Coverage
Performing Arts
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
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Executive Producer: McCarthy, Harry
Guest: Gregory, Dick
Producer: Moses, Harry
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2001316-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Duration: 0:58:38
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2001316-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: Color
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2001316-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Master
Color: Color
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Chicago: “NET Journal; 260; Dick Gregory Is Alive and Well,” 1970-01-05, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 26, 2022,
MLA: “NET Journal; 260; Dick Gregory Is Alive and Well.” 1970-01-05. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 26, 2022. <>.
APA: NET Journal; 260; Dick Gregory Is Alive and Well. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from