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TOPIC: Key and Peele

Key and Peele 25 Sep 2015 20:51 #7751

  • melissa.s
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Key & Peele - Negrotown

A black man walks around an urban area late at night. As he passes a dark alley where a black homeless man asks him for some change, a police car stops and asks the first man for some ID. When the man protests that he didn't do anything, the cop arrests him for "talking back." As the cop is hauling the man into the back of the car, he hits his head on the door. The homeless man then comes up to them and says that he'll "take it from here," at which point the cop's demeanor becomes friendly and he lets the man go. They both head off to "Negrotown," a "utopia for black people," which is explained through song.
The lyrics to the song are as follows:
"Follow me to a place I know where there ain't no pain ain't no sorrow / It's the place to be if your skin is brown / I'm talking about Negrotown
In Negrotown you can walk the street without getting stopped harassed or beat / there's always a cab when you need to get around town / and they always stop in Negrotown
You won't get followed when you try to shop / you can wear your hoodie and not get shot / no white folks to cross the street in fear / no trigger happy cops or scared cashiers / your loan applications won't get turned down / you're always approved in Negrotown
We're going down to Negrotown where the strong black men are raining down / there's light skin, dark skin every shade/ and there's no white bitches to take them away
In Negrotown you live long and well / there's no disease no sickle cell / no stupid ass white folks touching your hair / or stealing your culture and claiming its theirs
Hanging out in a group doesn't make you a gang / every word that you say ain't considered slang / no one trying to get in on the latest trend / by making you their token black friend"
Of course, the place is, as stated, "too good to be true" and the man wakes up in the alley next to the cop car. As the cop continues to arrest him, the man insists that he thought he was "going to Negrotown." After a beat, the cop replies, "Oh, you are."
This sketch is obviously commentary on American race relations. From the overt aggression of the racist cop to the microaggressions stated in the song, this sketch exhibits how people of color in the United States are undeniably treated as 'other.' The dominant discourse of race in this country asserts that people of color, especially young black males, are aggressive, dangerous, and financially irresponsible. Unfortunately, this otherwise excellent satire marginalizes women. The only time women appear in this sketch, it is to rejoice that there are "no white bitches to take [strong black men] away." Black women are subjected to just as much prejudice and adversity as black men, if not more. This portion of the sketch reinforces male normativity and ignores the issues that black women face.
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