I think it’s very interesting to see how the jokes about race that seem to resonate the most are jokes about racism. As I mentioned in class, Key and Peele are two very popular comedians who are known for making jokes about race. They do a remarkable job of reaching both black and white audiences with genuinely funny videos that have strong political messages.
First, this is the video I discussed in class about racist zombies. Even after a zombie apocalypse, the white zombies are still racist:
This second video starts with unreasonable police brutality that is clearly a serious problem in the United States. A black man who is arrested is magically transported to “Negrotown.” It’s a place where “you can wear your hoodie and not get shot,” where “no stupid ass white folks touching your hair or stealing your culture and claiming it’s theirs” and there is “no one trying to get in on the latest trend/ by making you their token black friend.” It is truly a video version of How to be Black. This video overtly comments on experiences of everyday racism and more serious problems of police brutality, all in a funny and accessible way.
This final video is a great reversal of the section “Where did you get that name?” section of How to be Black:
The power of these videos is they use comedy to reach both black and white audiences while seriously addressing real issues of racism. These are jokes about racism, not about race. The humor doesn’t come from making fun of black people or dividing black and white people. The humor comes from parodying the serious problem of racism.