Sassy subversions, knowing glances, and Black women’s laughter: moving towards a Black woman’s pedagogy of humor

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Erica-Brittany M. Horhn (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Leila Villaverde

Abstract: Sassy subversions, knowing glances, and Black women’s laughter is a qualitative study that examines the nuances of Black women’s humor away from the comedic stage. Additionally, it provides an alternative approach to understanding Black women’s lived experiences. More specifically, it explores the pedagogical proprieties of Black women’s humor suggesting that the everyday Black woman has the potential to be a public intellectual. Through a Black feminist lens, this research analyzes Issa Rae’s HBO series Insecure and uses focus groups to further investigate how Black women use and understand humor. Evidence from this study suggests that some Black women intentionally and unintentionally use humor to critique and alleviate oppressive conditions created by racism and sexism. Black women also use humor to reinforce communal ties through coded language and communicative patterns. As a result, this study builds the foundation for a Black women’s pedagogy of humor that positions humor as a method of survival while sustaining and celebrating cultural connections. Within this pedagogy, Black women’s humor is both an object of study and a set of tools for Black women to strategically use their humor.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
African American humor, Critical public pedagogy, Cultural foundations, Folklore, Women and gender studies
African American wit and humor
Wit and humor $x Women authors
African American feminists

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