Few entertainers match Dick Gregory in sheer ubiquity. The first black comedian to appear on national television has made a life’s journey out of working with civil rights leaders of various generations. He counted Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Richard Pryor among his friends and colleagues. Today, at 83 years of age, he continues both his activism and stand up career.
Now, filmmaker Andre Gaines is crowdfunding to support work on a documentary film about Gregory. A Kickstarter Staff Pick, the campaign to support “Dick Gregory: How To Survive In America” has raised more than $12,000 towards its $200,000 goal. In a statement on the Kickstarter page, Gaines says the funds will go to support the expensive work of licensing archival footage and production, among other material costs:
The elements are there, but the process of filmmaking (good filmmaking) is hard work. It takes a lot of time, effort and money. The costs to license archival footage, cover travel and award-worthy production are enormous, not to mention the fact that we are examining a life that spans six (6) decades. From being discovered by Hugh Hefner and invited to the Playboy Club, to marching with Dr. King, to protesting with George Clooney, to touring with Paul Mooney, in Dick Gregory we have an incredible resource, but a story that needs the funds to do it justice.
Those who wish to support the campaign are encouraged to give money via Kickstarter (where you can see the campaign’s promo video and learn more about the team behind the film) and post about it using the hashtag #DickGregoryFilm.