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Publisher Description

"Fascinating and exhaustive . . . at once a serious social history and an enormously entertaining reading experience." —Chicago Tribune

"A penetrating and immensely enjoyable history. . . . For many readers, this book will transform their conception of the character, and the source, of much American popular culture." —The New Yorker 
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. 

GENRE
Nonfiction
RELEASED
1999
May 1
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
672
Pages
PUBLISHER
Chicago Review Press
SELLER
Chicago Review Press, Inc. DBA Independent Publishers Group
SIZE
5.5
MB

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