Gregory’s autobiography, Nigger, was originally published in 1963 prior to The assassination of President Kennedy, and became the number one best-selling book in America. Over the decades it has sold in excess of seven million copies. His choice for the title was explained in the forward, where Dick Gregory wrote a note to his mother.
“Whenever you hear the word ‘Nigger’,” he said, “you’ll know their advertising my book.”
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I understand there are a good many Southerners in the room tonight. I know the South very well. I spent twenty years there one night… Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant, and this white waitress came up to me and said,
“We don’t serve colored people here.”
I said, “ That’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.
About that time these three cousins come in, you know the ones I mean, Klu, Kluck, and Klan, and they say, “Boy, we’re givin’ you fair warnin’. Anything you do to that chicken, we’re gonna do to you. About then the waitress brought me my chicken.
“Remember, boy, anything you do to that chicken, we’re gonna do to you.” So I put down my knife and fork, and I picked up that chicken, and I kissed it.