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MinnPost Picks: a new documentary on activist on Dick Gregory, Chipotle compensates 13,000 NYC workers, the Times prospers while Gannett struggles

Our roundup of recommended reading, listening or viewing by MinnPost’s staff and contributing journalists.

Activist Dick Gregory delivering a speech during the funeral for James Brown in 2006.
Activist Dick Gregory delivering a speech during the funeral for James Brown in 2006.
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

“The One and Only Dick Gregory,” Showtime
In his hometown of Kinloch, Mo. There’s a street named for Dick Gregory. Not sure you’ll find it on Google Maps this way, but I’m sure it’s at the intersection of arts and activism. I’ve always been enamored with Mr. Gregory (he has earned the reverence of Mr.) ever since I read his autobiography, “Nigger.” I become more enthralled when I found out he was a schoolmate of my parents at Sumner High School in St. Louis. Listening to his speeches at Kent State University and other college campuses – recorded nearly 20 years prior to my discovering them – literally changed my life. The essence of the man is wonderfully captured in the Showtime documentary, “The One and Only Dick Gregory.” — Harry Colbert, Jr., managing editor

Chipotle’s $20 million settlement with workers is an indictment of the entire restaurant industry, Quartz
Michelle Cheng reports Chipotle has agreed to pay $20 million in compensation to 13,000 workers in New York City for violating rights around scheduling and paid sick leave. Cheng notes the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the poor working conditions of restaurant workers, many of who quit at record rates due to low pay, obnoxious customers, the lack of benefits, and the risk of contracting the coronavirus. — Corey Anderson, creative director

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Why does the New York Times prosper while Gannett struggles, Poynter
Last week the owners of the St. Cloud Times announced additional layoffs in response to the continued deterioration of the economics of local newspapers. But this article by Rick Edmonds at Poynter.org explains why the narrative driven mostly by large newspaper chains doesn’t explain why some newspapers – the New York Times in his comparison – are thriving. He gives reasons but the one that makes the most sense is the huge debt acquired by the chains on either side of the millennium to acquire more newspapers has crippled their ability to staff their newsrooms. And Gannett was created by a merger with Gatehouse which produced even more debt. — Peter Callaghan, Capitol reporter