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Nigger Mass Market Paperback – November 15, 1990

4.5 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement by Taylor Branch
The Civil Rights Movement
The essential moments of the Civil Rights Movement are set in historical context by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the magisterial America in the King Years trilogy—Parting the Waters; Pillar of Fire; and At Canaan’s Edge. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gregory works for human rights causes around the world and divides his time between Washington, D.C., and Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Robert Lipsyte was an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times and the Emmy-winning host of the nightly public affairs show The Eleventh Hour. He is the author of twelve acclaimed novels for young adults and is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his lifetime contribution in that genre. He lives in Manhattan and on Shelter Island, New York, with his wife, Lois, and his dog, Milo.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (November 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671735608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671735609
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book should be required reading. Dick Gregory tells the story of one black man's life from poverty to world-class entertainer and comedian. Most biographies would end here, but Mr. Gregory is not content with his incredibly successful career, but details his desire to make the world a better place for all of the disadvantaged children that will not be as fortunate to be as talented as Mr. Gregory. I found this book at a used bookstore and I am so pleased to see that it is still in print.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Gregory told his story in an extremely honest way. It starts off almost in a reflective state, with him speaking to his mother in his own way. He moves on to talk about his childhood, which was unpleasant to say the least. How he, along with many other people who live under those conditions, survived it is a testament to itself. He had a lot of help along the way from friends, family, associates, and many others. Those people really believed in him, because all he could offer at that time was his word. He moves on to talk about the civil rights struggle, which took on a huge part of his life as he got older. Remember this book was written in his early 30s, and as much as he gave ithat time, his gives even more and his impact on the black community as a whole was much bigger as he got older and gained more wisdom. The book will mkae you laugh, maybe cry at times, but most of all, it will make you think.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reading Mr. Gregory's memoir of his first 31 years of life (1932-1963) was like being hit between the eyes with a two-by-four. His descriptions of living in abject poverty made my stomach hurt. Ironically, being black and dirt poor is what propelled him to excel in running, comedy and ultimately, as a civil-rights advocate. By sheer tenacity and an almost Pollyannaish notion that he would succeed, Mr. Gregory took huge risks in his pursuit of becoming a great showman. His willingness to risk his life and nascent fame in the pursuit of equal rights is hugely admirable. Almost from the onset of the narration, the book is permeated with spiritual omens about what is in store for the author. His belief that divine intervention played an instrumental part during his journey will be hard to swallow if you are not religious. However, Mr. Gregory's book is a brutally honest depiction of being black and poor in America. The memoir is still very relevant for today's readers.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A strong memior, lots of touching and interesting detail about his life growing up, his constant struggle to overcome adversity. I totally empathized with his hustling and lying at points to get ahead in a world so poised against him. the main thing I liked about the book was his VERY HUMAN side, his compassion for himself, his pain he suffered at being poor, mostly fatherless, black, dirty, hungry, uneducated. I loved it that he could cry, he could keep his humanity despite the world's cruelty...and not just keep it and feel it, but write about it later.
Weak point: the ending petered out. It went from being a man's internal struggle to "make it" in the world - the place in which I found the book's power lay - to being just another typical civil rights journal. And although I think the civil rights movement has its place, and Dick Gregory his place within it, I think I would have found the book far more satisfying it ended by its author turning further inward and exploring his own motives on his own purely personal journey, rather than outward to the struggle of society. Perhaps he wasn't ready to write on this level when he published his memoir, as he was only 30 or 31 when he wrote it, but to me his lack of wisdom still doesn't let the book off the hook.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is one of the best i've ever read. Dick Gregory keeps you entertained and hooked all throughout the book. Gives you great insight into an african american's life not so long ago. He's honest , succint and to the point.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There will be those put off by the title, but this classic autobiography by Dick Gregory is finally available as an e-book, and it's long overdue. It should be impossible for anybody to read this and not be affected by the things Mr. Gregory went through as a citizen of the United States of America in the 40's, 50's, and 60's, but it is also a significant chronicle of a man who didn't let adversity and abuse destroy his humanity. Given the way racism resonates even today in American society, this book is every bit as relevant now as it was then. Highly recommended, but probably not for overly-sensitive, politically-correct types, though they should read it too.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been familiar with Dick Gregory for a long time. I research the civil rights movement, and I've known him as an activist comic who does topical material. This book appears to be written at a peak in his fame as both an activist and an aware entertainer. It's an autobiography first, so it emphasizes the causes Dick Gregory holds most dear and the experiences that have driven him forward. I'm moved by this autobiography because it feels open and it's a positive witness to an era where a black entertainer has the courage to directly and unequivocally confront Whitey with his sins.

Gregory's family life is troubled, and he balances his real anger and resentment toward being on relief and having an absent father with his ability to use humor to survive. Track plays a central role in giving him an identity he can stand on, and his jokes start out as a survival method to get people to laugh with him rather than at his poverty.

As Gregory details his struggles to become a comic, I'm struck by the go for broke nature of the risks that he took to succeed. He'd lie to make himself look good if necessary. The decision to open his own night club while leaving his pregnant wife waiting poor in St. Louis shows how determined and singleminded he was in pursuing his goals. I'm not sure that I agree with all of his decisions, but I have great respect for the honesty that seeps through this book.

Another reviewer comments negatively on the Civil Rights testimony at the end of this book. Gregory's "monster", his at times overwhelming desire to confront racism, is a major motivator for his success as an entertainer.
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