Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Leave Sheryl Underwood Alone

I feel bad that everyone is being mean to Sheryl Underwood. If you aren't a fan of Sheryl's comedy you might find her a bit shocking or *gasp* even "ghetto" but that is exactly what I like about her comedy. If you actually watch the clip she says nothing about hating blackness or black hair. In the context of the moment it was a very funny Sheryl-esque thing to say.( If you want to go back and find out what she's alll about then you need to have seen Comic View on BET before evil Viacom got in and destroyed all that was good and nice about BET. RIP BET. Anyway.)

I feel especially bad for her because to me she didn't say anything that I wouldn't have heard down at 15th Street and generally I heard much worse. I honestly don't even agree that she said anything bad unless it is to acknowledge that she made a comment about blackness in humor that one shouldn't make in white (cough,cough POLITE) company.

I remember once my mother was listening to a conversation down at one of 15th Streets's satellite ticket houses (gambling establishments, for yall that don't know nothing) and a group of folks were talking and laughing and my mom was curious and wanted to know what was so funny. You have to know my mother who is about as wholemsome and innocent a creature as can be found in any color. She likes to think she's really hip and cool...but mostly she's not. Not in the way she wanted to be...in the way of ther Aunt Helen who was a legend on the Avenue, a famous grifter and prostittute known for her daring fashion sense and killer attitude. Mommy isn't like that. Mommy is just...herself...well you'll see...

So she inches to the crowd who are all nearly fallling apart laughing. Vi or someone was saying. --"Aw nigga when that shit hit me and you KNOW---!! Aw hell yeah I was like "Beam me UP, Scotty!" Everyone was laughing at this apparently shared experience until Mommy says--

"Who's Scotty?"*


Sheryy Underwood comes from a more raw comedy talent that is best absorbed in closed black audiences otherwise it is easy to mistake her talent as coonish or self hating. In oNe of her best routines when she was on Comic View she walks on stage with her handbag clutched to her chest as she holds the mike.

"You know, cuz white people steal," she says deadpan to the all black audience.

The only thing Sheryl Underwood did wrong in this age of hyper-conscious blackness that may bend a bit over-protective in the intensity of white supremacy  was to say something out loud that black folk might have laughed at if there had only been NO WHITE PEOPLE in company. But shouldn't part of our blackness be about FREEDOM to say even the stuff that white folks DON'T GET?

True comedy takes courage, honesty and daring. Leave Sheryl alone.

*Beam Me Up Scotty is a reference to crack-cocaine smoking. Scotty being the engineer of the Star Trek Enterprise 

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