Modern black humor represents a rich history of radical innovation stretching back to the antebellum period. Black Humor in the Fictions of Slavery reveals how black writers, artists, and comedians have used humor across two centuries as a uniquely powerful response to forced migration andenslavement. Glenda Carpio traces how, through various modes of conjuring, through gothic, grotesque and absurdist slapstick, through stinging satire, hyperbole, and burlesque, and through the strategic expression of racial stereotype itself, black humorists of all sorts have enacted rituals of redress. In highlighting the tradition and tropes of black humorists, Carpio illuminates the reach of slaverys long arm into our contemporary popular culture. She convincingly demonstrates the ways that, for instance, Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelles modes of post-Civil Rights tragicomedy are deeplyindebted to that of William Wells Brown and Charles Chesnutts 19th-century comedic conjuring. Likewise, she reveals how contemporary iconoclasts such as Ishmael Reed and Suzan-Lori Parks owe much to the intricate satiric grammar of black linguistic expression rooted in slavery. Carpio alsodemonstrates how Robert Colescotts 1970s paintings and Kara Walkers silhouette installations use a visual vocabulary to extend comedy in a visual register. The jokes in this tradition are bawdy, brutal, horrific and insurgent, and they have yet to be fully understood. Black Humor in the Fictions of Slavery provides a new critical lexicon for understanding the jabbing punch-lines that have followed slaverys long legacy.