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Black Comedians and Race - Research Paper Example

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Name Professor Course Name and Number Date Black Comedians and Race Comedy is perhaps one of the most subjective art forms in the entire world. What is funny to one person may not be deemed humorous by another. This is due to the fact that one of the biggest facets of comedy is the fact that much of it is based on certain perceptions and experiences which not everyone can claim to have…
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Black Comedians and Race

Download file to see previous pages... These four sociological terms—amalgamation, assimilation, segregation, and pluralism—must be understood before it is possible to understand how these comedian’s racially based material impacts society. According to the book entitled “Sociology: A Brief Introduction,” each of these important concepts have a distinct role within society. Amalgamation is defined as “a majority and minority group coming together and combining to form a new group”(Schaefer). This concept would best be illustrated by the American idea of the “melting pot” as people of different races and creeds have come together within this country and formed a new group known as Americans. Assimilation, on the other hand, is where a person of a minority group or culture adopts the majority or dominant culture within their society (Schaefer). An example of this would be an African American forsaking their own culture to adopt the Caucasian culture that is considered to be mainstream. Segregation involves the “physical separation of two groups of people”(Schaefer). ...
Chris Rock and Richard Pryor are particularly known for making jokes about their own race as well as other races. Typically, these types of jokes do not encourage amalgamation, assimilation, and pluralism. In some ways, these jokes do encourage a certain kind of self imposed segregation. According to the article entitled “Naturalizing Racial Differences Through Comedy: Asian, Black, and White Views on Racial Stereotypes in Rush Hour 2,” one commentator states that “an attempt to critique racism through comedy results in unintended consequences, namely, the reinforcements of the very stereotypes that the humor attempts to ridicule”(Park, Gabbadon, Chernin). Ultimately, African American comics making jokes about their own race serves to keep racial groups divided. It perpetuates the “us versus them” mindset which is counterintuitive to such amalgamation, assimilation, and pluralism. According to the article entitled “Chris Rock Beware? Jesse Jackson Fighting To 'Prohibit' Public Use of N-Word,” many African American comedians such as Chris Rock utilize the “n” word within their routines and do so quite often(Finkelstein). Richard Pryor also utilizes the “n” word in many of his jokes. For example: “How do you "accidentally" shoot a “n” in the chest six times? Well, my gun fell and just went crazy!”(Pryor). In some ways, this encourages a segregation mindset because the “n” word was often used by Caucasian’s to demean African Americans. It fosters the stereotypes that are associated with this particular word as well. Amalgamation, assimilation, and pluralism are all concepts that are geared toward a loss of culture in some respects and a certain sense of unity ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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