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Title page for ETD etd-03252013-151648

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Brown, Jr., Eric Elton
URN etd-03252013-151648
Title Black Culture: A Laughing Matter
Degree Master of Arts
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Professor Victor Anderson Committee Chair
Professor Lewis Baldwin Committee Member
  • Dubois
  • Dave Chappelle
  • comedy
  • black culture
  • racialized homeopathic
  • Bahktin
Date of Defense 2013-04-01
Availability unrestricted
Black authenticity is a false concept created by early European thinkers to overpower African people. Later the New Negro intellectuals used this misconception to compete with whiteness. However, their connotations of black authenticity later become ineffective due to changes in the meaning, language, and context of racial discourse over time. Through comedy, Dave Chappelle deconstructs black authenticity by ridiculing its meaning through a performative socio-cultural criticism. I will draw on Mikhail Bakhtin’s idea of laughter to show how “open seriousness” can be a tool for open radical space that reinvent ways of thinking. In this case, Bakhtin’s laughter is seen through the comedy of Chappelle, which I call racialized homeopathy. Through racialized homeopathy, I show that Chappelle uses the mask of imposed racial images on black bodies to ridicule the myopic thinking of black culture and open up dialogue for human fellowship
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