Comedians: They Have Overcome

When Godfrey Cambridge comes on stage, he sprints. As one of the country's four most celebrated Negro comedians, he has a reason for charging into his act. "I hope you noticed how I rushed up here," he tells his audiences. "We do have to do that to change our image. No more shuffle after the revolution. We gotta be agile."

The implication is that after the revolution is really now. The Negro cause has made such headway that Negro comedians are telling a new kind of joke. People used to think of Negroes as going around with fried chicken in...

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