‘Black Jeopardy’ Uses Comedy to Break Down Racial Barriers

By Erin McGuire
Staff Writer

On Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. in Stroud Hall, the first part of the African American Heritage Month Event Series kicked off.

The first night of this event consisted of a comedy skit titled “Black Jeopardy” and a discussion, or conversation on the different stereotypes that people face.

According to Dr. French, of the theater department, they wanted to start off this event with something dialogue based and present it in a comedic way.

When Destiny Washington, Brianna Schell, Victoria Silva and Travis Brewer came into their comedy class with this former SNL skit, it seemed as though this was the best way to get people to open up and discuss racial stereotypes, while also getting in a good laugh.

When asked why it was important for people to attend events like these, Cornelia Sewell-Allen from the Department of Multicultural Affairs, stated that there is a real struggle of educating people about culture.

She went on to say that ESU is a diverse community and everyone is filled with similarities and differences.

This event allowed attendees to open up about their own thoughts and struggles with stereotypes and it broke them down allowing everyone to come together on a common ground.

Going into this event, I wasn’t too sure what was going to happen. The only thing that I knew was that they were going to be discussing racial stereotypes.

I figured that it was going to be a jeopardy session filled with questions about African American Heritage. Needless to say, I was very interested to see what this event was going to be like.

Walking in the lecture hall, the stage was set up to look like the jeopardy set, the topics, however, were not what was expected.

With topics such as, “it’s been a minute,” “that girl,” “on punishment,” “had that been me,” “white people” and “pshhh,” it was clear that this was going to be some sort of comedy skit.

With the room decently filled with a diverse group of attendees, including ESU President Marcia Welsh, they were ready to get started.

After the skit, which was hilarious and very fun to watch, they opened up the room to discussions.

What really caught my attention was when they started asking if people found anything offensive about the skit.

It lead to the conclusion that people are afraid to talk about certain things out of fear of offending people, but comedy seems to sort of open things up a bit and allows people to be more honest in a way that’s not meant to be offensive.

The closing words were “take what we learned in here tonight and bring it out to campus.”

It was a night filled with comedy, inspirational words and lessons that allowed you to walk out of the room with a different mind-set.

Email Erin at:
emcguire1@live.esu.edu

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