By Katrina Jarnutowski, public relations student
The roots and fruits of African-American humor have been studied from various perspectives. In September, co-authors, Drs. Mia Moody-Ramirez and Jannette Dates added a new book to the fray titled, “From Blackface to Black Twitter: Reflections on Black Humor, Race, Politics, and Gender" (Peter Lang, 2018).
The book delves into the history of black humor to trace its impact on race, gender and politics throughout the centuries.
“‘From Blackface to Black Twitter …’ is a guided tour through more than a century of efforts, conscious and unconscious, to salve the wounds of America’s enslaved people of African descent and their descendants – with laughter,” Dean DeWayne Wickham of Morgan State University said.
Further, the book opens a conversation about the ways in which new social media platforms are conduits for the distribution of black humor today.
“[Moody-Ramirez is] a trained journalist, so I think she naturally has that inquisitive personality, and she wants to know more. That definitely helped her, as a researcher, look at everyday topics, I think, in a different way,” said Baylor Dr. Elizabeth Bates, assistant professor of journalism.
Moody-Ramirez, JPR&NM professor and Graduate Program Director, has co-authored two books with Dates, dean emerita of the School of Communications at Howard University. The two were paired in an AEJMC mentorship program sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Women and Minorities and Communication Division.
This marks the third book for Moody-Ramirez. Her earlier titles include “Black and Mainstream Press’ Framing of Racial Profiling: A Historical Perspective” and “The Obamas and Mass Media: Race, Gender, Religion, and Politics.”
Moody-Ramirez' latest project titled, "Race, Gender and Image Restoration Theory: How Digital Media Change the Landscape" (Lexington Press), explores themes that are relevant to the socio-political landscape of 21st century America, including race and gender representation, social media and traditional media framing, and image restoration management.
The book, co-authored with Hazel James Cole, concentration head and assistant professor of public relations at the University of West Georgia, was released in November.