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African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today (Library of Black America)by Mel Watkins
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Book News Annotation:
Watkins (an author, he was an editor at the New York Times Book Review) has compiled an anthology of Black humor that, perhaps inadvertently, reveals much about changes in American as well as Black society. The lengthy excerpts are printed with little prefatory material, though a historical introduction is provided for each chapter. An appendix contains a list of authors with short biographies.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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.
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Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General