This collection of anecdotes, tales, jokes, toasts, rhymes, satire, riffs, poems, stand-up sketches, and snaps documents the evolution of African American humor over the past two centuries. It includes routines and writings from such luminaries as Bert Williams, Butterbeans & Susie, Stepin Fetchit, Moms Mabley, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, Redd Foxx, Ishmael Reed, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Martin Lawrence, and Chris Rock. This anthology includes classic stage routines, literary examples, and witty quotations presented in their entirety.
About the Author
Mel Watkins is a former editor for the New York Times Book Review and the author of On the Real Side and Dancing with Strangers. He lives in New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
I recommend African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today to anyone interested in comedy and American history. The book is not only entertaining to read straight through or to browse through and enjoy the many anedotes and stories, but also offers a wonderful look at how African American humor reflects racial progress in America as well as how it developed and influenced our popular culture. Dick Gregory's introduction is great and Mel Watkin's comments on the history of the comedy is enlightening. But finally it's the tales, jokes,stories and witty quotes from famous African Americans like W.E.B. DuBois, Jack Johnson. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcom X, that make this such a delightful book. I found that I could turn to any page and find something to laugh or smile about.