Orals List #2 – Comedy, Humor and Satire in Black Literature

Comedy, Humor and Satire in Black American Literature 

Primary Works

Beatty, Paul.  White Boy Shuffle.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.

Bennett, Hal.  Lord of Dark Places. New York: Norton, 1970.

Brown, Cecil.  The Life and Loves of Mr. Jiveass Nigger.  New York:  Farrar, 1969.

Carrothers, James D.  The Black Cat Club: Negro Humor and Folklore. Funk & Wagnalls, 1902.

Chesnutt, Charles W.  The Conjure Woman and Other Conjure Tales.  1899.

Ellison, Ralph.  Invisible Man.  New York: Random House, 1952.

Everett, Percival.  Erasure.  New York: Hyperion, 2001.

Fauset, Jessie.  Plum Bun: A Novel Without a Moral. 1929.

Fisher, Rudolf.  The Walls of Jericho.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1928.

Himes, Chester.  If He Hollers Let Him Go.  1945.

Hughes, Langston.  The Ways of White Folks.  1933.

Hurston, Zora Neale.  Moses, Man of the Mountain. New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1939.

James, Darius.  Negrophobia: An Urban Parable: A Novel. Secaucus: Carol Pub. Group, 1992.

Kelley, William Melvin. Dem. 1967.

Killens, John Oliver.  The Cotillion, or One Good Bull is Half the Herd.  1971.

Reed, Ishmael.  Mumbo Jumbo.  1972.
—. Reckless Eyeballing. 1986.

Ross, Fran. Oreo.  New York: Greyfalcon House, 1974.

Schuyler, George S.  Black No More:  Being an Account of the Strange and Wonderful Workings of Science in the Land of the Free, A.D. 1933-1940. 1931.

Thurman, Wallace.  Infants of the Spring.  1932.

Secondary Criticism

Dickson-Carr, Darryl.  African-American Satire: The Sacredly Profane Novel. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001.

Ferguson, Jeffrey.  The Sage of Sugar Hill: George S. Schuyler and the Harlem Renaissance.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.

Freud, Sigmund. Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. (1905).

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.  Figures in Black:  Words, Signs, and the “Racial” Self. Oxford:  Oxford UP, 1989.
—.  The Signifying Monkey:  A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1988.

Levine, Lawrence.  Black Culture and Black Consciousness: Afro-American Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 1977.

Lott, Eric.  Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class.  Oxford University Press, 1993.

Lowe, John. Jump at the Sun: Zora Neale Hurston’s Cosmic Comedy.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.

Napier, Winston.  African-American Literary Theory: A Reader.  New York: NYU Press, 2000.

Schuyler, George. “The Negro-Art Hokum.” Nation 122.3180 (June 16, 1926): 662-63.

Spiller, Hortense.  “’All The Things You Could Be By Now if Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother’: Psychoanalysis and Race.” Black, White and In Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Watkins, Mel. On the Real Side: Laughing, Lying and Signifying – the Underground Tradition of African-American Humor. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.


Beatty, Paul, ed.  Hokum:  An Anthology of African-American Humor.  New York: Bloomsbury, 2006.

Dance, Daryl Cumber, ed.  Honey, Hush!: An Anthology of African American Women’s Humor.  New York: Norton, 1998.

Watkins, Mel, ed. African American Humor:  The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today.  Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2002.

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