I went to the Talawa Unzipped sessions at the Soho Theatre last week. On Saturday, there was a good discussion about Black comedy, i.e. comedy about Black people/people of African heritage. Personally, I think it is important to have comedy that reflects our culture and our experience. In the States, there was the Cosby show and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and then Bernie Mack. None of these really addressed racism but they did reflect Black people’s experience to a certain extent, and showed Black family life within a positive context.
In Britain, there have been several highly successful Asian comedy TV shows including Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 54. So why are Asian comic writers and performers so much more successful than ours? We cannot just say it is because we are experiencing racism. The people at the BBC commissioning editors are all white, but they commission Asian comedy, so why not ours?
To be fair, BBC has aired Three Non Blondes.
What needs to happen in order for more people of African heritage to become Commissioning Editors at the BBC and other stations?
Ligali are on the case, monitoring the media and its coverage of African British people.
Click here to visit Talawa's site.
Keywords: Black people and media; African people and media; theatre; comedy