feminism, race, transnationalism

Volume 21, Number 1

In the essay “Signifying Sistas: Black Women’s Humor and Intersectional Poetics,” author Dr. Constance Bailey explores the evolution of Black women’s humor from its historic origins to its contemporary manifestations. Bailey argues that Black women humorists, including Zora Neale Hurston, the Queens of Comedy, and comediennes on A Black Lady Sketch Show, interrogate the daily and varied oppressions that Black women face. In doing so, they reveal not only the intersectional nature of Black female comedy but also the previously unexplored political aspects of Black women’s humor.

Bailey writes: “…the sketch provides a metacommentary of sorts. Their success is based on convincing other Black women that the social fiction of the ‘bad bitch’ is a desirable reality. Most importantly, they economically exploit their sisters for financial gain. In addition to the Bad Bitch Support Group’s lampooning of unrealistic standards of beauty, through their embrace of the term bitch, the skit still advocates for Black women to self-define.” (Bailey 195)

Enjoy this hilarious skit titled “Bad Bitch Support Group” from American comedian, actress and writer Robin Thede’s A Black Lady Sketch Show