Comedy Central screenshot
Comedy Central screenshot

Life with white folks ain’t been no luxurious affair.

It’s had tragedies in it,

And bullshit,

And patience torn up,

And times when you wanna snatch ‘em bald—

Bare…

—Excerpt from “I’se Still Shinin’,” by Alexander Hardy, 2015

Being a chocolate wonder amidst the armed Zimmerbitches and institutional hateration in the dancery is no easy feat. Contending with White Fear-n-Fuckshit on the daily is spiritually draining and has been shown to advance aging in Black men. A break from the incessant madness would surely add years to many a life.

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Sometimes, dammit, I just wanna go where everybody knows my [pain], well-intentioned nice white ladies don’t ask to touch my hair and the residents don’t further beburden my Black ass life with bitchass-flavored passive aggression. A delightful place where one can do the Electric Slide while devouring fried chicken skin in the moonlight, without the Zimmerbitches and Riff Raffs and the culture vulturing, and so on.

Key & Peele had the same idea. In under five minutes, a cast of sangin’ and dancin’ ass chocolate wonders takes us on a fantastic voyage through the garden of White Fuckshit. A primer on Black frustration, if you will. A sample:

In Negrotown, you live long and well,

There’s no disease, no Sickle Cell.

No stupid ass white folks touchin’ your haaaaaair,

Or stealing your culture, claimin’ it’s theirs.

The sketch is pretty fucking brilliant. It's almost two weeks old now, and I still cry collard green tears of joy after watching it. And after I stop crying , I plunge into despair once I remember Negrotown is but a dream. Sigh. Maybe next lifetime.

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In other news, I am considering hiring Fatima to choreograph a performance of “Negrotown” in the style of the Emerald City sequence from The Wiz at my 31st birthday party.

Alexander Hardy is a wordsmith, mental health advocate, dancer, lupus survivor, and co-host of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Alexander does not believe in snow or Delaware.

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DISCUSSION

i wonder how much of some of the "eh" some of you are expressing about key & peele is due to (relative) unfamiliarity. with chappelle, he was a star before his show. we'd seen his stand ups numerous times, seen him in numerous movies, and knew he was friends with dozens of other black artists we loved. basically, we knew him. so, even with the skits that didn't work — and there were a TON that didn't if you rewatch that show — we gave him the benefit of the doubt.

i don't think key & peele gets that with some of us. because we (collectively) don't have the same history with them that we had with chappelle or even the wayans family before they created in living color, some of us might be a bit more suspicious of their motives and their "true" audience.