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