Friends, family gather to celebrate the life of Dick Gregory

In this July 21, 2012 file photo, comedian and activist Dick Gregory poses for a portrait during a PBS TCA Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Friends and family of Dick Gregory have gathered at a Maryland church in the suburbs of the nation's capital to celebrate the life of the comedian and activist.

The service was held Saturday at City of Praise Family Ministries in Landover, Maryland.

Reena Evers-Everette, the daughter of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers, says they gathered "to hear about the funny man, the straight man, who impacted our minds and impacted our hearts."

Gregory, who broke racial barriers in the 1960s, used his humor to spread messages of social justice. His commentary led him into civil rights activism. His talent as a comedian helped bring national attention to efforts at integration and social equality for black people.

He died in Washington, D.C., last month at the age of 84.
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