On the real side : laughing, lying, and signifying-- : the underground tradition of African-American humor that transformed American culture, from slavery to Richard Pryor

by Watkins, Mel, 1940-

Format: Print Book 1994
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Homewood African American PN6231.N5 W38 1994
Location  CLP - Homewood
Collection  African American
Call Number  PN6231.N5 W38 1994
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PN6231.N5 W38 1994
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PN6231.N5 W38 1994
Clairton Public Library Non-Fiction 792.2 W336
Location  Clairton Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  792.2 W336
Noncirculating (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Closed Reference (Please ask for assistance) r PN6231.N5 W38 1994
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Closed Reference (Please ask for assistance)
Call Number  r PN6231.N5 W38 1994
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Watkins surveys African American humor in an expansive and penetrating study that probes many facets of black American culture. Exploring ties to tribal sources in Africa, Watkins traces modes of behavior employed by African Americans for coping with the untenable situation of slavery. He also examines traditions such as minstrel shows, where distorted portrayals of blacks were commonplace. Watkins goes on to examine images of black Americans in vaudeville and silent movies, and to highlight entertainers in radio and television, literature, film, and the music industry. Above all, Watkins comprehensively records the history of African American comedy performers and the social constraints affecting their artistry. Fascinating and highly readable, this is also a copiously researched work of scholarship. ~--Alice Joyce"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Declaring that African American humor ``shadows, satirizes and humanizes America's main body,'' Watkins delivers a rich and ambitious history of such humor both in the mainstream media and in the black community. A former editor at the New York Times , he draws on prodigious research to describe such aspects of black humor as the African sources of slave wordplay, the sources of the minstrel tradition, the Negro caricatures of Hollywood silent films and the controversy over Amos 'n' Andy. He examines the contributions of the oft-forgotten early 20th-century comedian Bert Williams and the brillant Richard Pryor, and ventures into such topics as literary humor and street folklore. Because Watkins's research is so deep and his interest historical, his study of the varieties (and controversies) in black comedy after Richard Pryor is brief. This extensive compilation makes a valuable contribution to our cultural history. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects African American wit and humor -- History and criticism.
Publisher New York :Simon & Schuster,1994
Language English
Description 652 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [603]-620) and index.
ISBN 0671689827
0671511033 (pbk.)
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