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(4,324 posts)
Tue Apr 6, 2021, 10:31 PM Apr 2021

Dick Gregory interview on C-Span 2001 [View all]

(This is a good interview with Dick Gregory and stands out among the many youtube interviews of him)

Dick Gregory
(October 12, 1932 – August 19, 2017) was an American comedian, civil rights and vegetarian activist. His writings were best sellers. Gregory became popular among the African-American communities in the southern United States with his "no-holds-barred" sets, poking fun at the bigotry and racism in the United States. In 1961 he became a staple in the comedy clubs, appeared on television, and released comedy record albums.

Gregory was at the forefront of political activism in the 1960s, when he protested the Vietnam War and racial injustice. He was arrested multiple times and went on many hunger strikes. He later became a speaker and author, primarily promoting spirituality.

Brian Lamb
In his 35 years at C-SPAN, Lamb has conducted thousands of interviews, including 801 editions of Booknotes, a weekly program he hosted focusing on nonfiction books

Brian Lamb
Dick Gregory, author of "Callus on My Soul," where did you get the name for this book?

Dick Gregory
I got callus on my feet. No, I just--I was thinking that your feet is made by a universal god force and your feet--a fourth of all the bones in your body is in your feet. Now if someone would have told me that when I was a little child, I never would have wore tight shoes just because they look good with the outfit. I think a fourth of all the bones.

And so I got to thinking--I used to look at these old black men. And then once I became famous and could travel, I noticed something about old Jewish waiters in New York City. I mean, it looked like the shoes they wore, the high tops, it looked like it had soup on it from the first day 40 years ago.

But I noticed all the shoes had holes and little cuts, and--and they was turned up. And--and then I realized, thinking of those old black men and women who had calluses who didn't know there were such a thing as a foot doctor, OK? And you notice that they would cut the shoe.

And then I realized when I look at them old shoes, they would start wearing out from the inside. And then one day, it dawned on me, there have never been a shoe that a human have made that could wear out a pair of God's feet. So if you wear a tight shoe, you get a little rub, then you get a blister, then you get a corn, then you get a callus. And thinking that a callus will wear a shoe out--and I realized that black folks, oppressed folks--we have a callus around our soul. And if you don't cut that shoe, the shoe will be wore out from the inside.

Now the significance of this is I have no control over that. I don't care how much I like this shoe, there's a universal god force that says, You can't rub me like this, without me reacting.' And so I'm saying to America that we have a callus around our soul, and it have nothing to do with me being polite or trying to peacefully co-exist. See, there's nothing I can do in my automobile--I'm so busy, I can't stop for gas. When it runs out, it stops.

And I think in America, no one in the history of this planet have made the progress that we African-Americans have made in a 30-year period. Now let me say this again. In the history of this planet, there have been no one to make the progress that African-Americans have made in a 30-year period, in spite of black folks and white folks lying to one another, not being fair, not being honest.
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