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

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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.”

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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 →