The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) pauses to express our heartfelt condolences to the family of Dick Gregory, and to express forthrightly on the public record our profound and enduring love, respect, and salute to the living legacy of Dick Gregory.
At no time in our 400-year travail and struggle for freedom, justice, and equality have we been more blessed, as people, to have in our midst a freedom-fighting leader and visionary like our brother and comrade, Dick Gregory.
Brother Gregory’s avant-garde leadership in civil rights, entertainment, journalism and entrepreneurial development will always be remembered and cherished by generations to come. African Americans, in fact, all people of African descent, as well as all people who have felt the cold, damp hands and wretchedness of racism and oppression will be forever inspired by the example of courage embodied by the commitment and activism of Gregory.
During the past six decades, Dick Gregory, would periodically write columns, essays, and editorials for the Black-owned newspapers of NNPA members across the nation. His pen and his voice were always on the side of the oppressed, who dared to speak up and stand up for freedom. Today, in Dick’s memory, we all are obligated to do no less. Every breath that we take, we should gain more and more strength to speak truth to power and to stand against all injustice.
Dick Gregory made us smile, while simultaneously stimulating the irrepressible desire to fight for freedom without compromising the values of integrity, honesty and self-determination. In my own personal life-commitment to the freedom movement, Dick would always remind me not to permit the contradictions of society to break our spirit of unity and purpose.
Therefore, on behalf of Dorothy R. Leavell, the chairman of the NNPA, and all the 211-member publishers of the NNPA, we acknowledge that we will miss Dick Gregory, but we will not forget him. We will not forget his tenacity. We will not relent in using the audacity and clarity of his devoted life to the uplift of all humanity. Long live the spirit of Dick Gregory.
Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
President and CEO of the NNPA