Tournament of Books 2015
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    The Powell's Playlist | January 19, 2015

    Ned Beauman: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Ned Beauman



    I did have a playlist that I listened to over and over again while I was writing Glow, but three years on I'm a bit bored of those songs, which got... Continue »

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor

Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Selected and introduced by acclaimed novelist and poet Paul Beatty, Hokum is a liberating, eccentric, savagely comic collection of the funniest writing by black Americans.

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 Some of the funniest writers don't write, so included are selections from well-known yet unpublished wits Lightnin' Hopkins, Mike Tyson, and the Reverend Al Sharpton.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.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About 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 lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Pissed Off to the Highest Degree of Pissitivity 

Sojourner Truth

"And a'n't I a Woman?" (1851)

W.E.B. Du Bois

"On Being Crazy" (1923)

Zora Neale Hurston

"'Possum or Pig?" (1926)

Chester Himes

"Let Me at the Enemy--an' George Brown" (1944)

Malcolm X

"Message to the Grass Roots" (1963)

Langston Hughes

"Pose-Outs" (1965)

Lightnin' Hopkins

"Cadillac Blues" (performed 1968)

H. Rap Brown

from Die, Nigger, Die! (1969)

Sam Greenlee

from The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1969)

Wanda Coleman

"April 15th 1985," "Identifying Marks," "On that Stuff That Ain't Nevah Been Long Enough for No Damn Body" (c.1985)

Hattie Gossett

"yo daddy: an 80s version of the dozens" (1988)

Amiri Baraka

"Wise 1" (1995)

Cornelius Eady

"The Cab Driver Who Ripped Me Off" (1997)

Tish Benson

"Fifth-Ward E-Mail" (2003)

Al Sharpton

Presidential campaign speech delivered to the San Francisco Commonwealth Club (2003)

Mike Tyson

The Wit and Wisdom of Mike Tyson (1987-2004)

(Nothing Serious) Just Buggin'

Paul Laurence Dunbar

"When De Co'n Pone's Hot" (1895)

Bert Williams

"How Fried?" (1913), and assorted jokes compiled by Alex Rogers (1918)

Rudolph Fisher

"The City of Refuge" (1925)

Zora Neale Hurston

"The Bone of Contention" (c.1929).

George Schuyler

from Black No More (1931)

James Weldon Johnson

"B'rer Rabbit, You's de Cutes' of 'Em All" (1935)

Sterling Brown

"Slim in Atlanta" and "Slim Lands a Job," (1932) and "Crispus Attucks McKoy" (1965)

Gwendolyn Brooks

"at the hairdresser's" (1945), "One reason cats . . ." (1968), "A Song in the Front Yard" (1945)

Louis Jordan/Lawrence Ellis Walsh

"Saturday Night Fish Fry" (1949)

Langston Hughes

"Adventure" (c.1962)

Gary Belkin (writing as Muhammad Ali)

"Clay Comes Out to Meet Liston" (1963)

Henry Dumas

"Double Nigger" (1965)

Ishmael Reed

from Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down (1969)

Toni Cade Bambara

"The Lesson" (1972).

Etheridge Knight

"Dark Prophecy: I Sing of Shine" "Memo #9," "Rehabilitation and Treatment in the Prisons of America" (1973)

Kyle Baker

"Sands of Blood," from The Cowboy Wally Show (1988)

Spike Lee

from Do the Right Thing (1989)

Patricia Smith

"Boy Sneezes, Head Explodes" (1991)

Darius James

"Lil' Black Zambo," from Negrophobia (1992)

Lord Finesse

"Return of the Funky Man" (1992)

Hilton Als

"The Only One" (1994)

John Farris

In the Park After School with the Girl & the Boy (1994)

Elizabeth Alexander

"Talk Radio, D.C." (1996)

Erika Ellis

from Good Fences (1999)

Percival Everett

from Erasure (2001)

Colson Whitehead

from John Henry Days (2001)

Willie Perdomo

"Should Old Shit Be Forgot" (2003)

Black Absurdity  

Zora Neale Hurston

"Book of Harlem" (c.1921)

Chester Himes

"Dirty Deceivers" (1948) 

Ralph Ellison

from Invisible Man (1952)

Charles Wright

from The Wig (1966)

Bob Kaufman

"Abomunist Manifesto" (1965), "Heavy Water Blues" (1967)

Cecil Brown

from The Life and Loves of Mr. Jiveass Nigger (1969)

Steve Cannon

from Groove, Bang and Jive Around (1969)

Fran Ross

from Oreo (1974)

Franklyn Ajaye

"Be Black, Brother, Be Black" and "Disneyland High" (1977)

Trey Ellis

from Platitudes (1988)

Harriet Mullen

"Any Lit," "Jinglejangle," "Kamasutra Sutra," "Souvenir from Anywhere" (1991)

Suzan-Lori Parks
Devotees in the Garden of Love (1991)

Willie Perdomo

"Nigger-Reecan Blues" (1996)

Danzy Senna

"The Mulatto Millennium" (1998)

John Rodriguez

"How to Be a Street Poet" (1999)

Darius James

from "Froggie Chocolate's Christmas Eve" (2003)

Prophet Omega

"I Am What I Am" and "Swollen Feets" (dates unknown)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582344348
Subtitle:
An Anthology of African-American Humor
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Editor:
Beatty, Paul
Author:
Beatty, Paul
Subject:
American - African American & Black
Subject:
American literature
Subject:
Humor
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
General Humor
Subject:
American - African American
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060110
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Comedy Business and Criticism
History and Social Science » African American Studies » Anthologies
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 496 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582344348 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.