He combines influences from his African American heritage and contact with the white society to explore on issues that touch on America’s social lives (Guzman 50; Carrillo 14). His various arts touch on subjects of racial inequality, racial intolerance, integration, and the changing nature of the American society. Gregory was born in 1932 and was educated in Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has acted some of the famous movies such as Steppin: The Movie. Gregory represents a crop of black artists who represent the connection between the Harlem renaissance influence and the civil rights movement (Romano 27; Landau 31).
Others in his league are Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, and Lenny Bruce. Gregory has contributed immensely into the celebration of African American protest art. The contribution also helped alter the metanarrative of American comedy and writing from the white-centered styles to those that borrowed from the greater American cultural diversity. Critics contend that Gregory’s art and that of his contemporaries helped ease the Cartesian division that lay strict boundaries between the white artists and comedians and those of the other races. Such divisions were necessary to ease the kind of social tension that existed between the groups.
Such change was achieved through his moderate approach to issues as opposed to the radical approaches taken by fellow African American activists of the Harlem renaissance. In the essay, Drum Major for Justice and Equality, Gregory extends the campaign for social equality for the minority within the American society. The title ‘drum major’ metaphorically represents the kind of bold and strategic leadership that was necessary for the championing of the rights of the downtrodden (Houck 44).
There was the collective feeling among the minority groups, especially among the African Americans that the United States society was structured
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