African American Humor, Irony and Satire: Ishmael Reed, by Dana A. Williams

By Dana A. Williams

African American Humor, Irony, and Satire: Ishmael Reed, mockingly conversing comprises decide upon court cases from the once a year center s Day convention, subsidized via the dept of English at Howard college. one of the assortment s many strengths is the variety of essays incorporated the following. Essays on Ishmael Reed middle the gathering, and satirists from George Schuyler to Aaron McGruder are tested as are pop culture comedians Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle. hence, the gathering provides commonly to the physique of scholarship on conventional and non-traditional interpretations of humor, irony, and satire. What those essays additionally show is how the lens of humor, irony, and satire as a fashion of interpreting texts is principally necessary in highlighting the complexity of African American lifestyles and tradition. The essays additionally discover an important yet no so noticeable connections among African american citizens and different global cultures.

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Extra resources for African American Humor, Irony and Satire: Ishmael Reed, Satirically Speaking

Sample text

Plecker particularly waged war on Virginia’s Native Americans because he felt that their blood had been contaminated with Black American blood and were, consequently, no longer Indians. 26 Grant, 34. 27 Robert A. Hill and R. Kent Rasmussen, afterword to Black Empire, by George Schuyler (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1991), 259. CHAPTER THREE ISHMAEL REED AND THE DISCOURSE OF THE WONDERFUL ELEANOR W. TRAYLOR In celebrating Ishmael Reed, we honor, at the same time and with the same passion, the ever-present engendering spirit of a pioneer of the study of African American literature in the Academy, Sterling Allen Brown, venerable Howard University Professor for whom we seek to fully endow a distinguished chair.

Ask any freshmen composition writer (or for that matter sophomore, junior, senior writer—not to speak of graduate students). Faced with the task of creating, say, a definition or a comparison or a process analysis, these writers groan so relentlessly that they can be heard from the hill to the valley and all in between. Imagine the task faced by Ishmael Reed and his generation of writers, who confronted the American Novel, which they discovered to be not so American after all. The Novel had seemed exhausted—all used up.

Notes 1 A note on the subtitle: I evoke here the spirit of jazz bassist Charles Mingus by corrupting his most cumbersome and hilarious song title: “All the Things You Could Be by Now if Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother,” from Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus (1960). It seems more apt than substituting Schuyler’s name in “If Charlie Parker were a Gunslinger, There’d be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats,” aka “Gunslinging Bird,” since that does not quite fit my goals, although Schuyler could be counted upon to be a literary assassin in the most time-honored satirical tradition.

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