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90 thoughts on “What Dick Gregory Says About the Song ‘Amazing Grace’ and Its Link to Slavery Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Dan Lewis says:

    Why so miserly with the video? Why not let us hear his whole bit?
    Is his whole presentation elsewhere online? Give us the URL, please.

    Don't just tease us with this sliver.
    Some of us might say that Dick's meaning is not clear in this tiny fragment of footage.
    Don't hold back good stuff from The People, please.

    Has Gregory reached the understanding that religion is psychological imprisonment?
    It's not clear from this thin video slice.

  2. Lisa Jackson says:

    Yes amazing grace was written by a notorious slave trader. And black people sing it like that's our salvation in that song. So I wondered why did Obama sing it loud and proud at the funeral.

  3. But BLACK people too, why didn't someone do this reserve early enough before this song became a negros spiritual aanthem hat it is to day.Every black sings it anthems soon anthems the president sang it it becomes one of those blame Obama THINGS. Can we just have peace. Why bring out the fact late.

  4. I have to admit that prior to recent reading I was ignorant as to its history. I did, however, wonder why we referred to ourselves as "wretches." For me this brings to mind more questions for the NAACP. We have, in no short order, honored a known racist, accepted money from organization with hate ties and talked about forgiveness for a racist who murdered 9 people. At this I'm looking for some leadership ready to leave the philosophy of MLK and ready to do some Malcolm and Denmark Vesey.

  5. Yes, it is true that he was a slave trader. But read that after he was saved, he became an abolishionist and fought to undo his and other's grave deeds.

  6. Almost certain the point of the song is the man was horrible. Converted and later changed his life.

    Almost certain he later became friends with William Wilberforce and died an abolishonist

  7. And yet here you are preaching a religion that was created to keep slaves in line. One that controls you today. One that prevents you from thinking for yourself.

  8. Everyone has their own interpretation of that song it's just his opinion which it is.

  9. Bayano Valy says:

    I really don't understand you afro-americans. perhaps because I'm not an afro-american. but your hair-splitting is obnoxious.

  10. Sidney Blum says:

    Amazing Grace Had Nothing To Do With Color It Has To Do With The Condition of Man And His Sin,The Book Of Romans States,There's None Righteous No Not One That's Means You,Me,And Dick Gregory.The Bible Say That Gid Provided A Way Of Escape,The Lord JESUS CHRIST.John Newton Took That Way.

  11. Well he went on to be an abolishionist but did he ever give to the freed slaves the money he made from slavery?—nah! then he didn't feel TOO guilty!

  12. Anita Wills says:

    I know the history of the song, and the wretch referred to was the white man who wrote it! There is a film called Amazing Grace which is shown in churches. He was a slave trader and we forgave him and worship him because he wrote that song. What about the children who died, the women who were raped, and our ancestors who were enslaved? That is who I forgive, God needs to deal with him and his ilk.

  13. I don't think it was who wrote the song, but about what it meant personally to them. The Church has been singing it for years. Right, wrong, or indifference, the family and church in that moment was satisfied. What ever it meant to the composer of the song is a one thing . What it meant to black people when they sing it is different.uh

  14. Are you generalizing (all) or is this To Dick Gregory.
    I am African-American, and one thing I will not do is carry my whole race on my shoulders. This a few people opinion….

  15. Bayano Valy says:

    Loretta Holmes I'm glad it's not your opinion. but as an african living in africa, I sometimes think much time is spent discussing peripheral issues. I'd say it's a fait divers put in to distract afro-american from the most essential things.

    like someone said, this newton guy eventually repented and became an abolitionist.

  16. Dave Mills says:

    Some people are Never Damn happy! Lets just be happy we have our Brother Barrack back in the fold, after a lengthy term in exile from the Black community. President Obama knows he only has a short term left in office. He know's all the Racist – Media Editors / Political News Anchors / and all the rest of them, have far less power over him than before. I thought it was a show a strength for the Black community, and I LOVED IT. Only those " Crabs in a barrel types i.e Cornell West and others find fault. Yes it's a terrible hymn written by a Slave ship Captain. But that song is sung up and down the country, and in the very church he gave his Eulogy, so DON'T blame him for that! Just be happy we have our brother back.

  17. Al Ways True says:

    Amazing Grace is about being born again to Jesus Christ. GOD Bless America! …lets not condemn eachother, but hold hands and sing the word.

  18. Right on, Sidney.

  19. Love Bro. Dick, but like the song, "he's blind…"

  20. Tasha Walton says:

    I've been ready for some Malcolm X following….

  21. Pleading for the Sinner …

  22. Lisa Jackson says:

    Jesus Christ and his blonde likeness was given to us by our oppressor and so was amazing grace I don't think that was valid information given to black people.

  23. Lisa Jackson says:

    You're right I'm not damn happy until we do it right. The Mis-education of the negros seems to be our manifesto, but don't go back to sleep learn history and understand how white supremacy is embedded in black culture and we need to flush it out completely and be the people God intended us to be.

  24. gregory got the whole thing backwards.

  25. I find it amazingly funny that people still spew the rethroic about Jesus being "blonde" or "white" or something else…. You want to hate so BADLY that you don't actually do ANY research yourself! You follow the masses that spew this same crap because you want to find some form of worth within the message…

    John Newton was NOT a "notorious slave trader"… Yes he WAS involved in the Atlantic slave trade… Yet he became an ardent and outspoken abolitionist after he left Olney in the 1780s (he was born on 24 July 1725 and died on 21 December 1807). "John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace" is a good source to start out on – Or – Just use Google to start a search. 0% of the song has to do Slavery or his connection to it. HE is the one he is talking about in the Hymn.

  26. Deidrick Va says:

    Is it not God
    That can make flowers grow from out of a rock

  27. Deidrick Va says:

    Everyone has until there last breath
    To ask for forgiveness
    If he is truly forgiving
    Ask him about the song when you get to heaven

  28. Usually frat is on point but this time he isn't. John Newton became an abolitionist after years working on slave ships. The whole point of that beautiful him is redemption and that even the lowest amongst us could be redeemed by the blood of Christ.

  29. Maybe Dick Gregory is confusing the words Wretch and Wench. There is nothing wrong with the words of Amazing Grace. Everything ain't about the revolution. Sot down somewhere.

  30. Ebony Cowans says:

    Where vantage rest of athis video be located?

  31. Lisa Jackson says:

    David Kirby Dean The mis-education of the negro strikes again. John Newton was an investor who invested a lot of money to have black people brought to the Americas (slave trader) Google and Hollywood are the same people they know you won't search any further beyond what they told you who he is. They clean history to keep black folk in check.

  32. Deidrick Va godsucking got's nutin to dew wit it.

  33. Su Key says:

    I see many of you still have enslaved minds…when the writing is on the wall. SMH

  34. Deidrick Va says:

    You have many angle you take that's just mine

  35. Deidrick Va says:

    No disrespect to your perspective

  36. Neville Bell says:

    While I appreciate Mr Gregory's reference to the historical context of the song. The songwriter himself became an advocate for the abolition of slavery. I will not blame him for the life he grew up in but instead choose to judge him for the man he became. The fact that he asked for forgiveness of himself, a true "wretch" speaks to his belief of God's Amazing Grace to grant him forgivenesses for his sins, including his involvement in slavery. So I will celebrate the President's singing of the song and context in which it was sung. The forgiveness by the family of the nine for the wretched racist.

  37. Jesus is myth. Never existed and the bible is a book of science and the travels of the sun through the zodiac.

  38. Dee Full says:

    Hell I'm feeling down right Nat Turn like myself! The madness has got to stop!

  39. Alex you are sure ignorant, Christianity predates Black American Slavery and there were African Christians from the time of Christ and his Apostles. You need to read the New Testament and the history of the early Church before you embarrass yourself.

  40. Yet he's all for a trade deal that reeks of sulfur. Anytime a bill passes with full bipartisanship and the corporations are all for it that means the middle class is screwed. Not to mention it was done behind closed doors.

  41. Will, exactly where does one find this untainted, written in English info?

  42. You have to understand the same people that say Jesus Christ my Lord is basically saying that if it wasn't for slavery I wouldn't go to heaven. I thank my Slave Master for teaching me Jesus and the bible … you don't even know your name but you know Jesus. .. think about that.

  43. Get real seriously how many of us have been trained in any military capacity, 24 hours and there will be millions of dead black people.Who owns a tank in the hood? who has biological chemicals? Let's be real this isn't a physical war it's a spiritual war and if you lack the mental capacity you're going to lose a physical war.Regroup out of your feelings and count up you cost and lost..

  44. On that note i find this video ignorant. If he the slave trader wrote the song to attack blacks that is one thing. If there were racial undertones that is one thing. But for you to be a whore of a man and write a song after almost dying. The focus of the song was that you are thankful because there were things I know I did wrong in my life and you showed me mercy!!! So let's add to this thought alot of rappers sold drugs c murder killed a kid in the club after master p helped hos family out the ghetto to keep cred. Jay pissed on most rappers and put all his stuff out in one year, Eddie long has a ministry settled in court for child Sodom allegations, r Kelly accused multiple times of allegations of having sex with minors blacks still listen to his music….but a song merely based on repentance not hate don't sing it. Dickens Gregory retire. !

  45. On that note i find this video ignorant. If he the slave trader wrote the song to attack blacks that is one thing. If there were racial undertones that is one thing. But for you to be a whore of a man and write a song after almost dying. The focus of the song was that you are thankful because there were things I know I did wrong in my life and you showed me mercy!!! So let's add to this thought alot of rappers sold drugs c murder killed a kid in the club after master p helped hos family out the ghetto to keep cred. Jay pissed on most rappers and put all his stuff out in one year, Eddie long has a ministry settled in court for child Sodom allegations, r Kelly accused multiple times of allegations of having sex with minors blacks still listen to his music….but a song merely based on repentance not hate don't sing it. Dickens Gregory retire. !

  46. Dick's words are harsh, but they have more than a right of truth to them !

  47. Chris Hicks says:

    We cannot judge who is worthy of forgiveness. There is no big and little sin. His song withstands the test of time and is one of the most powerful hymns. I love it because of his testimony. I do not love the hatered Dick perpetuates His lifelong fight for justice and equality has left him bitter and foul mouthed. What a shame.

  48. Not quite true. Yes he was a former slave trader, just as Paul was a murderer of Christ followers. Most people know that who seek to know what they believe. I'm sure our highly intelligent President knows the meaning of wretched is not whore. Far too much embellishment here Mr. Gregory.

  49. so is John Newton collecting residuals on that song? The entire christian religion is corrupt so why get bent all out of shape over one song.

  50. because its a beautiful song regardless of who wrote it , I'm an a black atheist but that to me song is soothing. I once was lost but now I'm found yes I've been there.

  51. Read Acts 8: 26 about the Ethiopan Eunuch and Acts 13:1 about one of the early missionaries call Simon the Niger. Also the Ethiopian Orthrodox Church is probably older than the Roman Church.

  52. Only another BLACK MAN will curse another BLACK MAN. Nothing new. He has been doing it for years. As a matter of fact he did his masters nasty work because he lived in Massa's house. Racism is not the problem for Black people. Its BLACK PEOPLE rising from their own ashes and empowering himself, his woman, his family and his brother that is the next racial barrier. Black is the new Black. Being black is the new racist!

  53. Gary Brown says:

    Ridiculous ! Greg you need to sit down somewhere on this one. Obviously you as well as many others to see the magnitude of Gods Grace, that's what makes it so amazing.

  54. Very enslaved minds commenting here….Defending the song of a slave master, interesting.

  55. Look up Wintley Phipps on Youtube as he describes the black keys on a piano and the penatonic scale of music. It is pretty incredible.

  56. Angela Savoy says:

    Man sit your old self down some where…..what dose amazing grace has to do with what your speaking.

  57. God is a forgiving God we all know that , Mr Gregory what is your point even the lowest of lowest can receive a second chance. Although it may have been ill conceived it has the words of this song has been a comfort to many.

  58. Yep, as sinners we are wretched, the bottom of the filth pool. Yet JESUS reaches to the depths of that filth and SAVES us from it and lake of fire. Remember of so-called righteousness is as filthy rags (menstrual cycle rags). So God's grace is AMAZING that is saves us from our wretchedness, filth and ugliness of sin. Anyway how many people caught him addressing the audience as n******?

  59. wretch
    an unfortunate or unhappy person. "can the poor wretch's corpse tell us anything?"
    I agree with Mr. Gregory on a lot of thing including his history of the song. But he misses the mark as to why it's sung today. Our history has literally been stripped away from us, thusly we had to take what we had and make it our own.

  60. Anita Wills says:

    Panic Uprising He is just spouting what he was taught in church. That is the only way they could get us to do nothing while they raped women, killed our people, and enslaved us. They told us we were sinners, as they committed sin after sin against us. The only response from the church is to keep on praying and wait for Jesus. If God forgives us 70X7 a day, why would he not forgive us for defending ourselves against these white devils?

  61. Anita Wills says:

    Rodney Alamo Brown Poor Rodney he scairt! If you are a praying people then you should trust that God will give you the strength. The White Man has no greater fear then seeing blacks united against them. Even with guns, they are afraid of us without arms. I know because I have been involved in demonstrations where we had no arms, and they were armed to the teeth. You can be sure of two things in life, you are born, and you are going to die. Are you going to live your life in fear or step out and defend your people to the death? A Coward dies many deaths and a brave man dies but once!

  62. Anita Wills says:

    Will Heyliger The Beta Israel Jews (Ethiopian), are the oldest Jewish Sect. They left Ethiopia and went into Egypt, before leaving Egypt and going into Israel. The Beta Israel were the first to become Christians. All Religious thoughts came out of Africa, including Buddhism and Hinduism. The original Buddha was a black man who wore dreds. The Romans converted Christ teachings so that they could conquer and convert Europeans (who were Pagans). Do not be ashamed to tell the truth. Watch when you start telling the truth, as white folks say that Jesus race does not matter!

  63. Anita Wills says:

    What a wonderful human being! So we should forgive him while condemning our own people. Who is the lowest among us? I am not God and it is God who will have the last judgement on John Newton, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and that ilk. I don't have to forgive them for their sins.

  64. Dick Gregory is on point. I've known the history of this tune for quite some time. John Newton wrote this song because he was fortunate that the slaves did not revolt during the storm; yet he continued navigating slave ships after his life was spared. Additionally, the melody of the song was conceived from an old English folk song, not from slaves humming in the fields. This song is accurately about a wretched person begging for forgiveness; but we sing it as if it means we as a people were once wretched and should be thankful for our existence. See Source http://abolition.e2bn.org/people_35.html Despite this, he continued to participate in the Slave Trade. In 1750, he made a further voyage as master of the slave ship 'Duke of Argyle' and two voyages on the 'African'. He admitted that he was a ruthless businessman and a unfeeling observer of the Africans he traded. Slave revolts on board ship were frequent. Newton mounted guns and muskets on the desk aimed at the slaves' quarters. Slaves were lashed and put in thumbscrews to keep them quiet. In my opinion we need to systematically retire this song. There are many original songs/hymns that were penned by people of black heritage who truly personified the struggles of African Americans.

  65. Anita Wills actaully forgiveness is exactly what you have to do, if you want god to forgive you. Forgiveness can not be given to those who themselves can not or worse will not fogive.

  66. thank you Alex negros are the only people that will swallow a religion and yet find fault with one song. like drinking the kool aid but not liking the cup it's served in.

  67. Bayano Valy. I hear you loud and clear.

  68. Sifu Tungi Martyn when you're praising a white Jesus it's no stretch to include a song written by a white slave master ,

  69. Charles you are right but Christianity was ours before it was
    European. I am amused by Blacks who reject Christianity in favor of religions like Islam which is alien and initially hostile to use.

  70. I don't understand how or why people are content on destroying peace. Amazing Grace is not mute to everyone. Many know when, where, who and why this song was written. Out of everything he said, he snuck in, "but he repented". Isn't that the entire point of spreading the word of God is to call people to repentance? Or is repentance racial oriented or for designated sins. I almost want to cuss. Can we please have a mind of our own, look at the messenger of these messages, know God for ourselves and live in our own peace. Yet, he called us the N word. Message VOIDED.

  71. Why so hateful Mr Gregory? I'm black&know my history. The man DID repent, committed his life to a monastary and testified to Parliament that slavery was evil, contributing to its abolition in England. By the way, God forgives whores too!

  72. Nat Landry says:

    Nothing worse than an African brain controlled by European philosophy. Turn the other cheek cuz massa can do what he want round here.

  73. Anita Wills, the "original Buddha" existed long before the Earth. Siddartha Gautama, who became Shakyamuni Buddha, the Buddha of THIS age, was a Brahmin from what is now India, born in what is now Nepal. The African continent is the cradle of humankind, to be sure, but it is not the font from which all big ideas sprung. I suppose you're going to claim that Pali, the language in which the Buddha taught the Sutras, is African as well. I'm not familiar with any African tradition of successive rebirth, samsara, the Four Noble Truths (the stone foundation of Buddhist thought), and the enlightenment of knowing no-self and dependent origination. Please, direct me to your sources. Don't get me wrong–I'm all for celebrating the contributions of our African ancestors to human civilization, but don't try to claim the whole pie. It looks foolish. I've walked in the footsteps of the Buddha (literally), and I study the history and practice the 8-fold path. Stick to what you know, or ask questions. To do otherwise is to be a fool.

  74. you have to shame yours. at lease he's fighting for freedom and justice for his people. what are you doing? Dumb ignorant christians who doesn't know nothing about their bible or the history of Religion they belong to.

  75. Ya'll black people are appeased too damn easily that's why we are going thru the shit we've been going thru for DECADES!

  76. Black people aren't animals, were just the original people of God, so of course other races hate us. We need to address us, before we fight them. It's a whole continent of Africa that still isn't United, we need to be united in America, free of other races. So def not Christianity, I'd suggest the Nation of Islam, but I think we should start a movement based of facts, and truth, not ideology and faith.

  77. John Smart says:

    You can't fool your former slaves anymore.
    Dick let us know what is really going on!

  78. Jason Kehrer says:

    Totally missing the point. It has been internalized by millions to mean goodness.

  79. AS THE MUSICIAN GOD HAS ENDOWED ME TO BE, THROUGH RESEARCH I HAVE EXPERIENCED, THEIR IS NOT SUPPOSE TO BE ANYTHING AS A CHRISTAN SONG . FOR VOCALISTS THEIR IS THE QUIOR & HYMS A HYM IS PRAYER. AND FOR VOCALISTS & INSTRUMENTALISTS THEIRS 150 PSALMS. WHICH IS PRAYER.

  80. Mr. Gregory has apparently never been in a position to receive the grace and mercy of God. If so, he would realize how ludicrous this synopsis of Mr. Newton's life is. Was Mr. Newton a slave trader? Yes, a very wealthy one. Did Jesus radically save him and he write that beautiful hymn? Yes! Did he go on to be one of the most powerful voices of the abolitionist movement? YES!!! Hence making Amazing Grace an even more amazingly beautiful anthem to all of us who feel like we have gone to far for God to change us…but His grace says otherwise. (Don't just take some internet video as the truth or even posts in the comments. Do your own research and find out who Mr. Newton (&Mr. Gregory) really is).

  81. It is a shame Mr Gregory had to use the 'N' word to make his point. Equally some of the people who are writing comments supporting the 'hymn' are so deluded when the truth is in front of you – you argue with it – understand when you are being fooled – I am from London a fan of your president but I believe he was wrong to sing that song – sorry but that is how I feel!

  82. Carl Netus says:

    BaBa Greg is on point. it is a filthy,disgusting, ungodly song indeed…That song was not meant for black folks to sing. I dare you go to a synagogue and find Jews singing national socialist tunes that Adolf Hitler wrote…black folks always want to "Intellectualize" their way out of Bullshit, when ain't nobody Hurting but you!. and we wonder why we're not respected as a race–.

  83. Tania, did you notice you received no "like" that was for a reason. You missed Mr. Gregory's message, but somehow that's not surprising. I'm quite sure Newman would have enjoyed you being so subserviant.

  84. Didn't Jesus say that the whole Torah (Law of Moses ) depended upon these two principles: (Ist), Love of God with all of our hearts, ,minds, souls (being) and strength; (2nd) Love of neighbor as self (not self hate,either !) so who do we Amerikkkanized KneeGowpeans have as neighbors mostly … other black folks, right !!!!! So why are we killing each other like 90 going West !!! Is that 'Amazin' Grace' ……………!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. This article got a brotha tripping out!
    Damn I honestly thought it written by a Black slave…NOT a Black slave owner!
    And I'm running around singing this shit…(excuse me)

  86. Ray Timothy says:

    He's incorrect, I have much respect for Mr. Gregory, but the fact is yes, Newton was a ship captain and a slave trader for over a decade, however he resigned as Captain and became a minister, which changed his thoughts on slavery. Newton wrote Amazing Grace speaking about himself…of course his occupation as a minister enabled the song to be spread throughout the southern churches, which meant exposure to so called "god fearing southern christians, which lead to the introduction of the song to the slaves owned by such "god fearing" folk. As anything having to do with religion, its is about interpretation and who that interpretation is coming from. Again, this is Mr. Gregory's interpretation and his personal view on this song, it is not in totality factual.

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