ABOUT AAAS 331
Black Popular Culture: Dick Gregory and the History of Black Comedy
At the peak of his fame in the 1960's, Dick Gregory may have been the most influential comedian in America, offering truths about race, the Black community and politics in an era highlighted by the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. Dick Gregory and the History of BlacK Comedy will examine the roots of the Black comedic tradition that informed Gregory's art and activism, with a particular focus, in the spirit of Mr. Gregory, on the ways in which Black comedy has been used in the quest for civil and human rights.
The course will also highlight the role of Black literary satire, including the work of George Schuyler and Ollie Harrington, as well as contemporary examples such as novelists Danzy Senna, Kiese Laymon, Paul Beatty, and Fran Ross, cartoonist Aaron McGruder, comedians Issa Rae, Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes, Chris Rock and, even critical race theorist and legal scholar Derrick Bell.