On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy from Slavery to Chris Rock

Chicago Review Press
Free sample

This comprehensive history of black humor sets it in the context of American popular culture. Blackface minstrelsy, Stepin Fetchit, and the Amos 'n' Andy show presented a distorted picture of African Americans; this book contrasts this image with the authentic underground humor of African Americans found in folktales, race records, and all-black shows and films. After generations of stereotypes, the underground humor finally emerged before the American public with Richard Pryor in the 1970s. But Pryor was not the first popular comic to present authentically black humor. Watkins offers surprising reassessments of such seminal figures as Fetchit, Bert Williams, Moms Mabley, and Redd Foxx, looking at how they paved the way for contemporary comics such as Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, and Bill Cosby.
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About the author

MEL WATKINS is a professor of economics and political science at University College, University of Toronto. He is an editor of "This Magazine" where he writes the Innis Memorial Column.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Chicago Review Press
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Published on
May 31, 1999
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Pages
672
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ISBN
9781569767603
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Language
English
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Genres
Humor / General
Performing Arts / General
Social Science / Black Studies (Global)
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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