Read Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor by Paul Beatty Free Online


Ebook Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor by Paul Beatty read! Book Title: Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor
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Reader ratings: 5.5
The author of the book: Paul Beatty
Edition: Bloomsbury USA
Date of issue: January 17th 2006
ISBN: 1596911484
ISBN 13: 9781596911482
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 860 KB
City - Country: No data

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(originally written in 2006)

It pisses me off that there isn't a black correspondent on The Daily Show. If there is a benchmark for contemporary comedy and satire it is Jon Stewart and his cast of faux reporters and their completely satirical counter-part, Stephen Colbert. There are jokes and points that can only be made from people of color. How different would the Daily Show's comedy about Hurricane Katrina had been if they had just one black face in their stable?

Hmmm, maybe not so much. It's not like Kenan Thompson and Finesse Mitchell get to do much "black" comedy on SNL (except that one time).

I came into Hokum hoping to find someone I could look at as a kind of black Mark Twain, constantly turning the mirror back on us, the view askew. Showcasing our absurdity through brilliant satire. I'm not sure that person exists in the written word. Dave Chappelle and Paul Mooney probably fit the bill the closest but the writers? Who are these people?

I don't think Beatty finds them in Hokum. There are flashes, sure. Danzy Senna's The Mulatto Millennium is still one of the defining essays from the 90s and is still hilarious. The words of Mike Tyson and Al Sharpton are always absurd but perhaps the problem here is that we can never quite tell if they are in on the joke or not. Sharpton probably is, Tyson probably isn't. Or maybe it's vice-versa.

I think I might find some comfort in knowing that Tyson was constantly winking at the camera while praising allah and hoping to eat another man's offspring.

There's true black brilliance in Trish Benson's Fifth Ward Email which opens:

"Memo to the bitch trying to cause disharmony between me and my husband.

Greetings Ho -"

There's Trey Ellis's Preliminary Scholarship Aptitude Test which, 20 years later, would be prime material for McSweeney's. There are lots of amazing names and some spectacular poetry. And some humor with titles and language that can only be categorized as black. I can't imagine anyone other than a black American asking in verse, "Should Old Shit Be Forgot?"

But Beatty is right, there is not even a black Dave Berry. Maybe Zora Neale Hurston was once, for a time, but today, who shines the light on us? Who sees Black America today and goes "WTF?" and writes about it comedically? Intelligently? Consistently?

And how would we know it was satire?

Hokum is highly highly recommended.


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Read information about the author

Ebook Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor read Online! Paul Beatty (born 1962 in Los Angeles) is a contemporary African-American author. Beatty received an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College and an MA in psychology from Boston University. He is a 1980 graduate of El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, California.

In 1990, Paul Beatty was crowned the first ever Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. One of the prizes for winning that championship title was the book deal which resulted in his first volume of poetry, Big Bank Takes Little Bank. This would be followed by another book of poetry Joker, Joker, Deuce as well as appearances performing his poetry on MTV and PBS (in the series The United States of Poetry). In 1993, he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.

His first novel, The White Boy Shuffle received a positive review in The New York Times, the reviewer, Richard Bernstein, called the book "a blast of satirical heat from the talented heart of black American life." His second book, Tuff received a positive notice in Time Magazine. Most recently, Beatty edited an anthology of African-American humor called Hokum and wrote an article in The New York Times on the same subject.


Reviews of the Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor


GABRIEL

I recommend it.

AUSTIN

Why is she out! It must be endless!

LEXI

You want to waste your time? This book fits perfectly.

JOSHUA

A hard book, obviously not for everyone.

FREYA

The first review I put my soul in.




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