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Dick Gregory asks Democratic officials to reconsider the selection of Chicago for 1968 Democratic National Convection, January 5, 1968
Vintage wire photograph on paper
7 1/8 x 7 5/8 in. (18.1 x 19.37 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of Eric Alterman
Accession Number: P2021.21.17

Comedian and Civil Rights activist Dick Gregory grimaces during a press conference at which he asked Democratic officials to reconsider the selection of Chicago as the site of the 1968 Democratic National Convection. Gregory claimed that Chicago's civil rights record "is among the worst in the country," adding that Atlanta would be a better choice.

Dick Gregory (1932-2017) was a black comedian, Civil Rights activist, social critic, writer, conspiracy theorist, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. During the 1960s, Gregory became a pioneer in stand-up comedy for his "no-holds-barred" sets, in which he mocked bigotry and racism. He performed primarily to black audiences at segregated clubs until 1961, when he became the first black comedian to successfully cross over to white audiences. Gregory was at the forefront of political activism in the 1960s, when he protested the Vietnam War and racial injustice.

On verso: date stamp, library stamp, and typewritten label tile affixed.

Donated to the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College by Eric Alterman on December 16, 2021.

Sheet: 8 1/16 x 8 3/8 (left edge of sheet cut irregularly)

Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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  • Image Dimensions: 7 1/8 x 7 5/8 in. (18.1 x 19.37 cm)

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