Throughout history, African Americans have used humor as an escape and a way to express the black experience in America.
This January, the Sundance Film Festival screened a documentary, which explores the evolution of black comedy. The film, Why We Laugh, traces the genre's roots from the early days of Mantan Moreland to the modern comedic stylings of Chris Rock.
Darryl Littleton wrote the book, Black Comedians on Black Comedy. The documentary, Why We Laugh is based on that book.