Pigmeat Markham, Dick Gregory, Bert Williams, Moms Mabley, Rudy Ray Moore, Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Timmie Rogers, Hattir McDaniels…the list goes on and on
by Kat Buckley
All these legends have one thing in common… they are African American comedians that made us laugh. Doubled-over, side-cracking, eyes-tearing, cracking up, falling out, in stitches laughing!!! They helped to establish the foundation of Black Comedy in this country. What’s the missing link you ask? – A national platform to preserve the history and solidify the future of African American humor. Only a short time ago, that platform was the vision of Steve Capers, Managing Partner of the annual Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest. After careful research and thoughtful planning, Black Comedy Month was born. Original and unique, Black Comedy will be celebrated annually in August.
Black humor has a rich history dating back to the ancient Greeks according to some literary critics. In 1940, French writer and poet André Breton coined the term Black humor for his book Anthology of Black Humor (Anthologie de l’humour noir). From then until the present, Black Comedy has taken on a life of its own with hundreds of African American comedians contributing to its growth.
Black Comedy month will provide a historical perspective of this aspect of the entertainment industry, and present an opportunity to showcase new and established African American comedians.
It will provide an outlet through live events and social media outlets to:
• promote tours, shows, movies, plays, and clubs that feature African Americans; and,
• highlight African American comedians, promoters, club owners, writers, actors and fans.
Black Comedy month will officially debut at the 7th annual Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest on August 7, 2017. Information will be available via social media outlets beginning July 15, 2017.