cover of book

Played Out: The Race Man in Twenty-First-Century Satire
by Brandon J. Manning
Rutgers University Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-9788-2427-0 | Paper: 978-1-9788-2424-9 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-2425-6
Library of Congress Classification PN1590.B53M26 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.08996073

Dating back to the blackface minstrel performances of Bert Williams and the trickster figure of Uncle Julius in Charles Chesnutt’s Conjure Tales, black humorists have negotiated American racial ideologies as they reclaimed the ability to represent themselves in the changing landscape of the early 20th century. Marginalized communities routinely use humor, specifically satire, to subvert the political, social, and cultural realities of race and racism in America. Through contemporary examples in popular culture and politics, including the work of Kendrick Lamar, Key and Peele and the presidency of Barack Obama and many others, in Played Out: The Race Man in 21st Century Satire author Brandon J. Manning examines how Black satirists create vulnerability to highlight the inner emotional lives of Black men. In focusing on vulnerability these satirists attend to America’s most basic assumptions about Black men. Contemporary Black satire is a highly visible and celebrated site of black masculine self-expression. Black satirists leverage this visibility to trouble discourses on race and gender in the Post-Civil Rights era. More specifically, contemporary Black satire uses laughter to decenter Black men from the socio-political tradition of the Race Man.
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