ABSTRACT:

Black American women have taken up satirical humor imbued with postmodern aesthetics that privilege emotion and experience in order to critique particular incidents of racism, sexism, and the lack of access to rights and resources. However, for the most part, comic soapboxing has been unavailable to them in mass-media platforms or in political discourse. Little has been written about the interventionist potential of satire by black women, especially how their marginality within the United States power structure requires the kinds of postmodern tactics that destabilize representations of race, gender, and teleological notions of progress. Black women's use of satire as a representational strategy enables them to spotlight deeply embedded historical narratives that rationalize structural inequalities. These narratives relegate black women to the margins of US society, and black women satirists call attention to the cultural fictions that make them possible.

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