Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor [NOOK Book]

Overview

This book is less a comprehensive collection of African-American humor than a mix-tape narrative dubbed by a trusted friend-a sampler of underground classics, rare grooves, and timeless summer jams, poetry and prose juxtaposed with the blues, hip-hop, political speeches, and the world's funniest radio sermon. The subtle musings of Toni Cade Bambara, Henry Dumas, and Harryette Mullen are bracketed by the profane and often loud ruminations of Langston Hughes, Darius James, Wanda Coleman, Tish Benson, Steve Cannon, ...

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Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor

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Overview

This book is less a comprehensive collection of African-American humor than a mix-tape narrative dubbed by a trusted friend-a sampler of underground classics, rare grooves, and timeless summer jams, poetry and prose juxtaposed with the blues, hip-hop, political speeches, and the world's funniest radio sermon. The subtle musings of Toni Cade Bambara, Henry Dumas, and Harryette Mullen are bracketed by the profane and often loud ruminations of Langston Hughes, Darius James, Wanda Coleman, Tish Benson, Steve Cannon, and Hattie Gossett. Some of the funniest writers don't write, so included are selections from well-known yet unpublished wits Lightnin' Hopkins, Mike Tyson, and the Reverend Al Sharpton. Selections also come from public figures and authors whose humor, although incisive and profound, is often overlooked: Malcolm X, Suzan-Lori Parks, Zora Neale Hurston, Sojourner Truth, and W.E.B. Dubois.


Groundbreaking, fierce, and hilarious, this is a necessary anthology for any fan or student of American writing, with a huge range and a smart, political grasp of the uses of humor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Acclaimed novelist Beatty (Tuff; White Boy Shuffle) models this controversial anthology on a "mix-tape narrative dubbed by a trusted... friend." Like a mix-tape, the collection is intensely personal: its encompassing feature is the bright, plaintive, scathingly ironic voice that introduces the volume and its various sections. Beatty, who "was the butt of the first joke [he'd] ever heard," mines two centuries of African-American culture for speeches, poems, fiction, comics and screenplays that mirror his own glass-cutting wit and satisfy, in places, his taste for "unintentional comedy." (To wit, "The Wit and Wisdom of Mike Tyson.") Apart from usual suspects like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, a Norton anthology this is not. Selections from Fran Ross and Prophet Omega dizzy readers in their logical funhouses. Hattie Gossett's "80s Version of the Dozens" leads them through sewer pipes of lyrical imagination. The volume's general tenor is wild, winking and explosive. As such, it picks up where Chappelle's Show left off-gouging the government, lampooning cultures black and white, leaving no sacred cow unslaughtered. Even the smiling watermelon on the book's front cover has been retained despite sniffs by national media outlets. "This is black humor," Beatty writes, "and I don't mean African-American black." Indeed, at times-as when John Farris's schoolchildren blithely gun down pedestrians-you may need night-vision goggles to find the joke. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596917163
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/10/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 906,000
  • File size: 9 MB

Meet the Author

Paul Beatty is the author of two novels, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle, and two books of poetry, Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He was the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. He lives in New York City.
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Table of Contents

And a'n't I a woman? 17
On being crazy 19
Possum or pig? 22
Let me at the enemy - an' George Brown 24
Message to the grass roots 37
Pose-outs 40
Cadillac blues 43
From Die, Nigger, die! 47
From The spook who sat by the door 60
April 15th 1985 71
Identifying marks 72
On that stuff that ain't nevah been long enuff for no damn body 74
Yo daddy : an 80s version of the dozens 76
Wise 1 82
The cab driver who ripped me off 83
Fifth-ward e-mail 86
Presidential campaign speech delivered to the San Francisco Commonwealth Club 92
The wit and wisdom of Mike Tyson 98
When de co'n pone's hot 107
How fried? 109
Assorted jokes compiled by Alex Rogers 111
The city of refuge 115
The bone of contention 130
From Black no more 140
Brer Rabbit, you's de cutes' of 'em all 156
Slim in Atlanta 158
Slim lands a job? 160
Crispus Attucks McKoy 162
At the hairdresser's 166
One reason cats ... 167
A song in the front yard 168
Adventure 169
Clay comes out to meet Liston 171
Double Nigger 173
From Yellow back radio broke-down 184
The lesson 191
Dark prophecy : I sing of shine 199
Memo #9 201
Rehabilitation & treatment in the prisons of America 202
Sands of blood 203
From Do the right thing 224
Boy sneezes, head explodes 240
Lil' black Zambo 242
Return of the funky man 247
The only one 251
In the park after school with the girl & the boy 262
Talk radio, D.C. 283
From Good fences 284
From Erasure 287
From John Henry days 289
Should old shit be forgot 295
Book of Harlem 301
Dirty deceivers 306
From Invisible man 310
From The wig 315
Abomunist manifesto 321
Heavy water blues 323
From The life and loves of Mr. Jiveass Nigger 326
From Groove, bang and jive around 332
From Oreo 360
Be black, brother, be black 378
Disneyland high 379
From Platitudes 382
Any lit 395
Jinglejangle 397
Kamasutra Sutra 404
Souvenir from anywhere 405
Devotees in the garden of love 406
Nigger-Reecan blues 427
The Mulatto millennium 429
How to be a street poet 440
From Froggie chocolates' Christmas Eve 443
I am what I am 453
Swollen feets 455
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Customer Reviews

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