On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy from Slavery to Chris Rock (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Chicago Review Press, May 1, 1999 - Humor - 672 pages
2 Reviews
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.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy

User Review  - Danielroffle - Goodreads

A truly amazing book. Obligatory for anyone interested in american culture, humor and in the ways opressed groups find to subvert the negative image that the ruling class establishes around them. Read full review

Review: On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

This book is one of my favorite history books of all time. It has all the elements I like: a history that is not about the dominant culture, that takes a unique approach to understanding history, and ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
Slavery dont nobody know my name but me
Race Records and Black Films sounds and visions inblack andblue
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

MEL WATKINS is a professor of economics and political science at University College, University of Toronto. He is an editor of "This Magazine" where he writes the Innis Memorial Column.

Bibliographic information