The W Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in about an Hour, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Tuesday 09 August 2011
In 2005, the San Franciscan comedian W Kamau Bell joked that Barack Obama's name was "too black" to see him elected president. Despite this apparent lack of foresight, Bell's gentle yet challenging exploration of race and racism already looks set to be one of the most insightful Fringe shows this year.
Bell's choice of "obvious ethnics" to replace "people of colour" shows just how difficult it is to discuss race. For the most part, however, the all-white audience , as far as I can see, are at ease with Bell as he explains, for example, the levels of racism from one to five: "If I said 'there's a lot of Asian people in here", that's a one... 'and I am going to kill them', that's a five."
Bell uses both the UK and US census for some knockabout stuff. He highlights that the term Arab is classified as white in the 2000 US census – and from this he maintains that "race isn't real".
It's a somewhat flimsy, if pivotal, assertion and it conflicts with his idea that white people should adopt and adapt James Brown's "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud".
His reasoning behind it, however, is not so flimsy and is crucial – it's so that protestations of ethnic pride are taken away from extremists.
To 29 August (0131 556 6550)
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Jeremy Clarkson courted by Russian Ministry of Defence TV station to present motoring show
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest