From Blackface to Black Twitter; Reflections on Black Humor, Race, Politics, & Gender

 
9781433154553: From Blackface to Black Twitter; Reflections on Black Humor, Race, Politics, & Gender
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From Blackface to Black Twitter: Reflections on Black Humor, Race, Politics, & Gender traces the roots and fruits of comedy over the centuries to analyze and offer insights into the intersections of race, gender, and politics in humor that is by, for, and/or about black people.

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Review:

"I've always been a fan of black comedy. I remember, as a little boy, sitting at the feet of my maternal grandmother while she listened to The Jack Benny Program on radio. She laughed loudest when Rochester, the black valet played by Eddie Anderson, tested Benny's patience with his dry wit and smart banter. I laughed a lot back then at the black vaudevillian comedy of that time and then even more as I got older and the ranks of black comedians grew. But back then I gave little thought to the things that motivated this humor and the impact the laughter these comedians brought us had on the social and political life of this country. I found that awakening in the pages of this book. From Blackface to Black Twitter: Reflections on Black Humor, Race, Politics, & Gender is a guided tour through more than a century of efforts, conscious and unconscious, to salve the wounds of America's enslaved people of African descent and their descendants--with laughter. Black comedy, the authors suggest, is often an Afrocentric response to white hegemony and the insidious stereotyping of blacks by others. More than anything else, this book is about how the laughter created by black comics has been a key part of the existentialism of America's black community. And in this way, it is part of a black survival guide that is still being written." --DeWayne Wickham, Dean and Professor of Journalism, School of Global Journalism and Communication, Morgan State University

"In this important addition to the literature concerning black humor, Jannette L. Dates and Mia Moody Ramirez provide a wide-ranging and comprehensive overview of comedy by, for, and about African Americans. For newcomers to the field, the appendices will be a welcome guide, as will the historical scope offered by this volume. The major contribution of this book is in the authors' very timely and important explication of the impact of new social media platforms on the deployment of black humor in the early 21st century, by both professional comedians and by the general public." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University

About the Author:

Jannette L. Dates is a former dean of the School of Communications at Howard University, a nationally recognized authority on mass media and African Americans, and co-editor of acclaimed book Split Image: African Americans in the Mass Media (1990)-recipient of the Gustavus Myers Award. Mia Moody Ramirez, a noted scholar in gender, race, and media, received her PhD from the University of Texas. She is a professor of journalism, public relations, and new media at Baylor University, where she also serves as Director of American Studies and Graduate Studies.

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