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Race Unwrapped: How could you joke about THAT?!

Mindy Fulner

Are there some things you just can't joke about? Or does the passage of enough time put everything back on the table?

A Black Baptist minister, a Chinese Buddhist monk and a White Presbyterian walk into a bar… and for more than one reason, they may not all laugh at how the joke ends.

This season of Race Unwrapped we’re focused on the tie between race and humor. On this episode, I talk with Dr. Lawrence Williams about how humor connects us as humans, and how it can help us deal with difficult situations.

Williams teaches marketing at the University of Colorado and received his Ph.D. in psychology at Yale. By studying with colleagues how people used humor to cope with Hurricane Sandy, he found there is a certain degree of time that needs to pass before tragedy becomes comedy.

As a Black man himself, he has plenty of insight to share about how his findings apply to race, how people of color can use humor to connect with other people who have shared racial experiences, and how humor and time can soften tragedy and help you heal from it.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson is the lead producer of LPM’s talk shows, and she is also the host and producer of LPM’s podcast Race Unwrapped. Email Michelle at mjohnson@lpm.org.