Getting “Woke” With Each Joke: Black Comediennes and Representational Resistance on YouTube

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London, Shaunel




This research looks at the relationship between comedy, alternative media, and representations of Blackness. Using case studies Akilah Hughes and Franchesca Ramsey, two Black comediennes on YouTube, this thesis asks: how do Black women use both political comedy and alternative media to challenge the stereotypical and racialized representations of themselves in traditional media? A theoretical framework of critical race studies, post-colonialism, intersectional and Black feminisms, postmodernism, and theories of comedy in conjunction with the thematic qualitative text analysis of 30 YouTube videos were used to answer the question. My findings determined that Black women use political comedy and alternative media platforms to satirize oppressive and discriminatory ideologies and behaviours, framing instances of every day racism in absurd and exaggerated terms, which ultimately provides nuanced representations of Black womanhood that affirm the sexist, racist, and racially charged experiences and microaggressions that Black women endure on a daily basis.


Mass Communications
Black Studies
Women's Studies




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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