Hokum: An Anthology of African American Humor.Hokum: An Anthology of African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. Humor Edited by Paul Beatty Bloombury Publishing, February 2006 $29.95, ISBN ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN International Standard Book Number
ISBN n abbr (= International Standard Book Number) → ISBN m 1-582-34434-5
Forget whatever you have read in previous collections of African American humor. Don't think about "Your Momma" jokes or even the lyrical folk tales of the Signifyin' Monkey. Instead, Hokum serves up an eclectic selection of readings, quotations and excerpts from a wide body of African American writings, including fiction, public speeches and popular cinema.
To aid you on your journey, Beatty has conveniently divided the anthology's bountiful fare into three sections: "Pissed Off to the Highest Degree of Pissitivity," "Nothin' Serious (Just Buggin')," and "Black Absurdity?' The reader gets to choose the level of funny.
Moving from the sophisticated to the streetwise street·wise
Having the shrewd awareness, experience, and resourcefulness needed for survival in a difficult, often dangerous urban environment. , the pieces in this collection travel comfortably from the historical comeback of former slave Sojourner Truth, to the dubious wit and wisdom of Mike Tyson. Beatty respectfully stops off at the Harlem Renaissance with musings from founding black scholar W.E.B. Du Bois and writer Zora Neale Hurston Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was an American folklorist and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, best known for the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. , pulls over to take on 1960s Black Arts activists Amiri Baraka and H. Rap Brown H. Rap Brown now known as Jamil Al-Amin (born October 4, 1943) came to prominence in the 1960s as a civil rights worker, black activist, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Justice Minister of the Black Panther Party. , and pulls right up to the present day with a presidential campaign speech by the Reverend Al Sharpton and an excerpt from a Spike Lee script.
With enough substance to satisfy any number of tastes, Hokum is a chunky, flavorful stew that is good enough for single servings or as a satisfying meal to be shared with the whole family. This collection works as a wonderful refresher for the long-time reader of African American literature African American literature is the body of literature produced in the United States by writers of African descent. The genre traces its origins to the works of such late 18th century writers as Phillis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano, reached early high points with slave narratives , and equally as well as a primer for the first-timer.
--Reviewed by William H. Foster III
Professor William H. Foster III is the author
of Looking for a Face like Mine (Fine Tooth
Press L.L.C, 2005), a book about the
changing images of blacks in comics.