On The Real Side: Laughing, Lying & Signifying
Tuesday February 22, 2011
Mel Watkins (On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy), Susan Fales-Hill (One Flight Up; Always Wear Joy), and Sabrina Lamb (A Kettle Of Vultures...Left Beak Marks On My Forehead) discussed the history and scope of African American humor and spotlighted new satirical voices in African American literature. With moderator Malaika Adero, the Vice President and Senior Editor at Atria Books, Simon and Schuster and Executive Producer of the UpSouth International Book Festival.
Mel Watkins is the author of On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy and Stepin Fetchit: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry. He is a frequent commentator on television documentaries about American culture and, since 2007, has been NEH professor of the Humanities at Colgate University.
Susan Fales-Hill (One Flight Up; Always Wear Joy) began her writing career as an apprentice on the original "Cosby Show". She served as Story Editor to the show’s spin-off, "A Different World". Three years later, in 1990, she became Co-Executive Producer/Head Writer. Under Susan's stewardship, "A Different World" was nominated for the prestigious Humanitas Award. The episode she wrote on AIDS, "If I Should Die Before I Wake," received the 1991 Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood and many other prestigious awards. In November 1995, Susan became Executive Producer of the CBS sitcom, "Can't Hurry Love". The following year, she served first as Executive Producer of the situation comedy, "Kirk" (starring Kirk Cameron), then as a Consulting Producer on the television series "Suddenly Susan” (starring Brooke Shields and Kathy Griffin). In 1998 Susan co-created with Tim Reid the Showtime original series "Linc's” and served for two seasons as its Executive Producer/Head Writer. Susan is the recipient of the Producer’s Guild of America’s Nova award, a “Special Recognition Award” from the Friends of the Black Emmys, and the Excellence and Heritage Award from Dillard University. Susan serves on the boards of the Studio Museum of Harlem, and American Ballet Theatre where she was recently elected Vice Chair. She lives in New York with her husband and their daughter.
When Sabrina Lamb, a New York City based media personality hosted a tribute to the Poet Laureate of New Jersey, The National Conference of Artists exclaimed “Sabrina Lamb is a master of satirical humor with an emphasis on political current events. Her bites at the current U.S. administration left no one untouched.” Sabrina is the best-selling author of Have You Met Miss Jones? The Life and Loves of Radio's Most Controversial Diva? (Random House) and her latest A Kettle Of Vultures...Left Beak Mark On My Forehead (Simon and Schuster). Best-selling author Bridgett Davis wrote, "Sabrina Lamb writes like the love child of Terry McMillan and Chris Rock. With wild plot twists and page-turning style, A Kettle Of Vultures is sassy, wise and funny as hell." In Kettle Of Vultures, Sabrina Lamb invites readers into her love of comedy and storytelling, so it is no surprise that she brilliantly forges comedy with fiction and social commentary in this fan favorite. One may remember Sabrina, a former stand-up comedian, and a Miami native, from Lifetime Television's Girl's Night Out, where she wove her comedic skills around issues such as homelessness, foreign policy and spousal abuse. Sabrina got laughs and delivered the message. She was also a political satirist on the America's Talking Network. Other credits include NBC's "Saturday Night Live", The Original Improv, Comedy Cellar, Stand Up New York, HBO/Toyota Comedy Festival. She also produced the hairlarious docu-comedy UnBeweavable: Woman, What Did You Do To Your Hair? The film garnered The Audience Choice Award at the Jamerican Film and Music Festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Sabrina is very proud to be the Founder/CEO of the WorldofMoney.org, dedicated to the financial education of underserved youth.