“Black Ops: ‘Post-Racial’ Comedy in the Age of Obama”


Richard Morgan interviews black comedians about mainstream media’s representation of “Black America,” for Splitsider.

Fourteen comedians of varying popularity are interviewed, all of whom touch on similar themes – such as why certain televisions shows are criticized more than others for a lack of race representation, why the 1980s were a golden era for black representation, and the problem with assuming that America is now “post-racial,” as discussed by comedian Jayson Cross:

“‘Post-racial’ is a semantic veneer we put to make it look smooth and sparkly. But it’s not. It’s putting a veneer on a tooth that’s rotten and needs a root canal. The only reason I’m making this analogy is I just had a root canal. You gotta drill in and get out the decay. Nobody wants to go through that drilling because there’s no Novocain for this. Self-analysis is hard as hell.”


It should be noted that none of the comedians interviewed for the piece are women, which does nothing to help the prevalent sexism against female comedians.

Jack Taylor is a Rumpus Intern, gangly fellow, and Steal the Bacon enthusiast. More from this author →