NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t



Comedian Richard Pryor’s legacy still reverberates nearly 10 years after his death. Pryor took the most difficult troubling aspects of his life and turned it into comedy. He talked about being black in ways that had never been done before in mainstream entertainment. And he was fearless and hilarious talking about race relations. “Pryor was so unusual in pioneering in that he really spoke for black, working-class communities across America,” Scott Saul tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. ” … As he goes through his career, you’ll have white and black sitting together in the audience — and he’s talking about the gap between how they travel through the world and perceive it. And people are starting to have a conversation through him, this very difficult conversation about racial injustice … in America.” Saul’s new book Becoming Richard Pryor explains how Pryor went from being raised by a grandmother, who was a bootlegger and madam in Peoria, Ill., to being a transformative figure in entertainment. MORE