Dick Gregory inspires KSU on MLK Jr. Day


Civil rights activist lays it out in black and white at Bobbie Bailey Hall Activist, author…

Georgia (Feb 3, 2011)Civil rights activist lays it out in black and white at Bobbie Bailey Hall

Activist, author and comedian Dick Gregory didn’t pull any punches about race relations during KSU’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. But he did mix in plenty of humor at the KSU African American Student Alliance-sponsored event.

The KSU Gospel Choir had just sung and Cory McGinnis, a KSU alumnus and reporter at Augusta, Ga.’s WJBF-TV, had just completed an introduction of the 79-year-old when Gregory started working the full house at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Hall.

The man who marched beside King in the Sixties showed he still has the stamina to reach a whole new generation. The septuagenarian raised the volume of his delivery every few minutes to make sure everyone understood.

 At one point, chiding Britain’s royal family for its wealth, Gregory reminded the crowd that even though she is “rich and white” Queen Elizabeth is just another human being. “Queen Elizabeth and my welfare cousin; they both got a heart,” he quipped.

 As with the civil rights movement, he said the solution to many problems facing blacks today could be found with “two of the most powerful forces in America, the black woman and black churches.”

President Daniel S. Papp applauded Gregory for his wit and insight. Addressing the crowd, Papp reiterated a key theme of the federal holiday, saying, “Remember what Dr. King meant, not just to whites and blacks, but to people of all colors around the world. We’ve come a long way in just 40-50 years but there are a great many things left to do.”

Papp continued, “As Mr. Gregory pointed out one person can do heck of a lot. Many of you here are KSU students so when we leave this room remember what Mr. Gregory said: You can make a difference. You must make a difference.”



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu