Black History Month kicked off last week to commemorate the difficult history that the African American population has endured. However, on Thursday night at the Avery Research Center, black history was celebrated in a joyful, comedic way. Darryl Littleton, author of “Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy,” joined College of Charleston faculty and students to honor the most entertaining black comedians in history.
During the event, there was a film screening of the movie adaptation of Littleton’s book. The film highlighted the evolution of African American comedy and discussed its importance in the never ending fight for equality. In the documentary, comedians such as Bill Cosby, the Wayan brothers, Steve Harvey and Chris Rock talked about how comedy has made transitions in black culture easier. Littleton stresses the fact that comedy, in a way, made African Americans able to laugh about their difficult past and get through it by satire and mockery.
A woman who was there to see the film was from the College of Charleston class of 1988. She said that seeing how far black entertainment has come was like seeing how much African American culture and rights have grown. Littleton, when asked about how comedy has affected his life, said “black comedy has given me life and purpose – and all that stuff.” As a comedian, Littleton is hilarious, but as an activist for black rights and a supporter of black entertainment, he is a hero.