Author, civil rights pillar, cancer survivor and damn-funny standup Dick Gregory speaks at Xavier University tonight at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace
. Since the early 60s, when he was among the first black comedians to gain acceptance or even applause from majority white audiences, Gregory has wielded his barbed wit as a means of delivering biting social commentary and calls for racial equality. He went on to run for mayor of Chicago in 1967 (losing to Richard Daley) and president in 1968 (as one of the Freedom and Peace Partys write-in candidates), garnering more than 47,000 votes and appearing on some ballots with David Frost as his running mate. Among his punchier punch lines is this laugher, from a 1961 routine that led to a gig at Hugh Hefners Chicago Playboy Club: 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, Thats alright, I dont eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.