ABOVE PHOTO: Dick Gregory at Universal Bluford School.
(Photo by Martin Regustes)
In a rare appearance, comedian and civil rights icon, Dick Gregory visited Universal Bluford Charter School (UBCS) in West Philadelphia last Friday.
Universal Bluford Charter School (UBCS), located at 5720 Media Street is a community enriched educational institution serving West Philadelphia students in grades K through 6th. One of Universal Bluford Charter Schools’ central goals is enriching the community through the provision of resources and viable community partnerships.
Throughout his carrer, Gregory has entertained adult audiences across the spectrum. Yet, this performance was for the most unlikely audience of his career: a group of 5th graders, who had studied about him as a class assignment.
One the last living leaders of the movement during the Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. era, Gregory spoke with students about the history of the Civil rights movement, and also participated in the school’s activities around the 16th Annual Read Across America Day.
Dick Gregory is a comedian and activist who became well known for his biting brand of comedy that attacked racial prejudice. Dick Gregory was arrested for civil disobedience several times, and his activism spurred him to run for mayor of Chicago in 1966 and for president in 1968. In the early 1970s Gregory abandoned comedy to focus on his political interests, which widened from race relations to include such issues as violence, world hunger, capital punishment, drug abuse and poor health care.
Universal Bluford Charter School (UBCS) is one of six schools, in Philadelphia, run by Universal Companies, a not-for-profit “Community Development and Community Management Corporation”, formed under the efforts and direction of one of Philadelphia’s greatest talents, Mr. Kenneth Gamble, world-renowned musical writer, composer, producer and founder and CEO of Philadelphia International Records.
Universal Companies is under the leadership of Rahim Islam, and Dr. Kia Johnson is Principal of Universal Bluford Charter School.