Parents' Guide to

The New Negroes

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Language, difficult truths in hilarious standup/music show.

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This show's name is an immediate turnoff for many, but the title's more than a gimmick: it's a nod to the Harlem Renaissance and the way that cultural movement changed America's view of black people. Hosts Open Mike Eagle and Baron Vaughn know that The New Negroes is a provocative title. As Vaughn explains in the very first episode: "Context is key when it comes to the word negro. But this is our show. We create the context." And this context, a lineup of standup from established comics like Hannibal Buress, Sam Jay, and Dulcé Sloan and music from artists like Method Man, Lizzo, and MF Doom, is compelling, smart, and very funny.

Frequently the standup acts and musical performances and videos touch on issues of race and black culture, like Shalewa Sharpe's bit on black dating app SoulSwipe, or Chris Redd's sudden realization that his fun uncle who "always had the kind of candy you could eat, and the kind in a bag, don't touch that!" was actually a crack addict. But just as often they don't: Sharpe describes having sex with the older men she's dating as "f--king a ferry," a really slow-moving ship that "eventually got me to my destination." But by giving voice to viewpoints that frequently aren't heard in TV comedy -- which tends to be a white dude's game -- The New Negroes becomes the best kind of humor: the kind that makes you laugh and think, and remember what you've heard.

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