” . . . Again, these issues were know to all for decades. The debates in the Program Council at WBAI over Gary Null when he made 40-60% of the revenue never focused on whether those arguing it were simply incapable of crafting a sound that attracted 17,000 people an hour.
I suggest that people see the new documentary on Dick Gregory which SHOWTIME has.
I always admired and learned from him. At one point I had all his records which I listened to again and again.
But I found the commentary on his interest in health issues fascinating. It reminded me of one of the telling comments in the WBAI Program Council when people would freak out over his attraction to a mass audience.
Barbara Nimri Aziz simply said , “Don’t you undrestand how he makes people feel about themselves. he makes them feel good since he is directing his advicfe to make them live longer and take care of themselves. It’s obvious”
This is from wikipedia about Gregory’s health campaigning which I had totally forgotten about.
Vegetarianism and animal rights
Gregory became a vegetarian and fasting activist in 1965 “based on the philosophy of nonviolence practiced during the Civil Rights Movement.”[His 1973 book, Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet For Folks Who Eat: Cookin’ With Mother Nature, outlined how fasting and going vegetarian led to dramatic weight loss. He developed a diet drink called “Bahamian Diet Nutritional Drink” and went on TV shows advocating his diet and to help the morbidly obese. He wrote the introduction to Viktoras Kulvinskas’ book Survival into the 21st Century.A talk he gave at Amherst College in 1986 inspired Tracye McQuirter to become a vegan activist.
In 1984, he founded Health Enterprises, Inc., a company that distributed weight-loss products. With this company, Gregory made efforts to improve the life expectancy of African Americans, which he believed was being hindered by poor nutrition and drug and alcohol abuse. In 1985, Gregory introduced the “Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet”, a powdered-diet mix. He launched the weight-loss powder at the Whole Life Expo in Boston under the slogan “It’s cool to be healthy”. The diet mix, if drunk three times a day, was said to provide rapid weight loss. Gregory received a multimillion-dollar distribution contract to retail the diet.[
In 1985, the Ethiopian government adopted, to reported success, Gregory’s formula to combat malnutrition during a period of famine in the country. Gregory’s clients included Muhammad Ali.
In 2014, Dick Gregory updated his original 4X formula, which was the basis for the Bahamian Diet and created his new and improved “Caribbean Diet for Optimal Health”.
In 2003, Gregory and Cornel West wrote letters on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to Kentucky Fried Chicken‘s CEO, asking that the company improve its animal-handling procedures.[Gregory saw civil rights and animal rights as intrinsically linked, once stating, “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 vicious taking of life. We shouldn’t be a part of it.”
I am personally less interested in these kinds of issues than others but that is MY PERSONAL PREFERNCE. I learned decdaes ago to spearate my personal preferences from the practical necessities of financing very fragile fiscal realities at Pacifica stations. . . . “